ORANGE, Calif. — The University of La Verne volleyball team continued to hit well, but couldn't dig out of an early hole in a 25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 10-25, 15-13 loss to Chapman on Tuesday night at Hutton Center.
La Verne falls to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in the SCIAC. Chapman improves to 5-4 and 1-2.
The Leopards hit as well as they have all season, converting at a .256 clip, and was solid at the net, recording 14 total blocks.
But the Panthers matched the Leopards' efficiency early to steal the first two sets and were able to hold off the Leopards. La Verne regained its footing and dominated Chapman in the third and fourth sets but weren't able to sustain the momentum in the decisive fifth set.
A controversial call at the net on a swing by Delaney Lynch went Chapman's way and the Panthers made the turn leading, 8-6. Cherene Uale put down a kill to get the Leopards within 8-7 but the Panthers went on a 3-0 run using a pair of kills by Eve Silverman and one by Abby Smith to take a 11-7 lead. A pair of late attack errors by Chapman's Courtney Justus cut the lead to 14-13, but Lauren Friend clinched the match for Chapman with a kill.
Five Leopards registered double digit kills. Lynch led all players with 19 kills and Kelsi Robinson had 14. Marisa Rojo, Cassie Thompson and Uale each had 10. Thompson continued her impressive run of offense. The SCIAC Volleyball Athlete of the Week recorded her 10 kills on 21 attempts and did not commit an error.
Robinson had two solo blocks and five assists for a total of 4.5 blocks.
The Leopards are back in action on Friday at home against No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 7 p.m.