THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— It was day one of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational and the No. 11 Cal Lutheran volleyball team came out with something to prove. The Regals continued their hot play from a week ago and swept Hardin-Simmons (25-12, 25-18, 25-22) and Puget Sound (25-14, 25-21, 25-22) Friday in Gilbert Arena.
The Regals improved to 6-0 and have now swept three of their six opponents. Cal Lutheran knocked off unbeaten Hardin-Simmons which dropped to 5-1. The loss to Puget Sound made them 2-4.
This is the second time in three years that the Regals have started 6-0. They started 9-0 in 2016.
Against Hardin-Simmons, freshman outside hitter Maci Haddad led the Regals with 10 kills and had a hitting percentage of .444. She added a solo block and two block assists.
Sophomore Sarah Hein converted eight kills and was good defensively with seven digs. Seniors Paris Dosch and Amanda Roberts both recorded six kills. Dosch added two block assists and Roberts had eight digs.
Junior setter Steph Rolfson and sophomore setter Jennifer Kent helped facilitate the offense. Rolfson tallied 19 assists and Kent added 11 more.
Junior libero Carly Rose Howard was all the over the place on the defensive side and put up 19 digs. Junior Amy McKee and Rolfson each had five.
The first set was back and forth early on, before Cal Lutheran took over. With the Regals up 13-11, they went on 12-1 run and took the first set 25-12. Haddad swatted down three kills during the run, Hein added a kill and McKee served an ace. The other points were unforced errors by the Cowgirls.
CLU carried that momentum over to the second set and took an early 10-3 lead. Dosch took a lot of big swings early on and had three kills during the run. Roberts, Hein and Haddad each added one. The Regals kept the pressure on and held the lead for the rest of the set. Cal Lutheran won the set 25-18 and took a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set tested the Regals. The Cowgirls were up 18-15 and looked to have the set in the bag. The Regals had a different plan as they rattled off three points and six-of-seven as they took a 21-19 lead. A big block by McKee and Dosch gave CLU the 21stpoint which forced Hardin-Simmons into a timeout. The match ended with a three-person block as Haddad, Rolfson and Daniella Villano sent back the final point. The Regals won the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
In the second match, Cal Lutheran took on the Puget Sound Loggers. Haddad and McKee had great swings and both accounted for eight kills. Dosch was next with six kills and Roberts and Villano had five a piece.
McKee was all over the court as she also recorded six digs, three service aces and two block assists. Haddad led the defense at the net with three block assists and one solo block.
Rolfon got all of her teammates involved and recorded a match-high 27 assists. Howard was big for the Regals on the defensive end and led Cal Lutheran with eight digs.
As a team, CLU recorded 7.0 total blocks, compared to PSU's 1.0.
McKee and Haddad had three early kills to pace the Regals to a 10-5 lead in the first set. The Loggers bounced back and brought the score to 11-9, but CLU was there for the answer. The Regals scored four straight and had a 15-9 lead. Haddad had a solo block and McKee served an ace during the run. Cal Lutheran kept the pressure on and took the first set 25-14.
The second set went exactly like the second set of the first match. Cal Lutheran came out firing and took an early 10-4 lead. The Loggers kept it close, but clutch plays from CLU kept the distance as the Regals won 25-21 and had a 2-0 match lead.
The Violet and Gold carried the momentum into set three and took a quick 6-0 lead. Villano swatted down two kills, Haddad converted one and McKee served an ace. Pudget Sound was there with an answer and scored five straight. Rolfon shut down the run with a kill and Villano then served an ace and CLU was back up by three, 8-5. Pudget Sound would make its runs, but Cal Lutheran was there for the answer every time. The score was eventually tied at 20. The Regals scored the next four points in a row to give themselves a cushion. The Loggers got a few points back but McKee ended the set with a kill. CLU won the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
The Cal Lu Fornia continues tomorrow. The Regals host Mary Hardin-Baylor at 1 p.m. and Clarkson at 5 in Gilbert Arena.
Interview after game one with Haddad and Howard:
Interview after game two with Rolfson and McKee:
Box Score: CLU 3, HSU 0; CLU 3, PSU 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director