POMONA, Calif. - The Lewis & Clark volleyball team hit the road to start the 2013 season, taking on Pomona-Pitzer and Chapman on Friday afternoon. The Pioneers opened the day with a 3-1 loss to the Sagehens (25-12, 18-25, 25-11, 25-20)) before slipping to the Panthers 3-1 (26-24, 18-25, 25-22, 25-20).
Lewis & Clark trailed early in both the first and third sets, before relinquishing a slim lead in the fourth. A strong opening portion of the second set allowed the Pioneers to overcome a strong Sagehen side for their only set.
At the intermission, Lewis & Clark found itself tied 1-1, after rallying back from a sluggish start to the first set, to convincingly win the second set.
The third set saw the Pioneers start off well, before slowing down as the Sagehens took control. But Lewis & Clark refused to go away without a fight as the Pioneers pulled within four points on back-to-back-to-back attacking errors by the Sagehens. However, Pomona-Pitzer managed to gather itself and close out the set with 10 straight points.
The final set started off competitive with both sides battling point for point. Pomona-Pitzer once again settled into a rhythm to close out the contest with the victory.
Lewis & Clark finished the night hitting .146 percent as a team to go 36 kills, 35 assists, three services aces, 71 digs and nine blocks. Pomona-Pitzer countered hitting .219 percent with 52 kills, 51 assists, seven aces, 72 digs and 15 blocks.
The Panthers took the first set after a strong start that set them up with a lead they never relinquished. The Pioneers managed to tie the score on two occasions but never found a way to pull ahead.
Like they did against Pomona-Pitzer, the Pioneers started the second set strong. Chapman pulled ahead late in the set, but the Pioneers remained calm and closed out the set on an 8-1 run, led by three Russo kills.
Hoping to keep the momentum going, the Pioneers knocked down the first point of the third set and continued to take it to the Panthers. Unfortunately, Chapman once again put together some late set heroics, pulling ahead to pull out the 25-22 win.
Chapman continued to throw everything it had at the Pioneers in the fourth set, taking the early lead and never allowing Lewis & Clark to get too close.
Valentine led the Pioneers with a match-high 19 kills and three blocks, while Milan ended the match with 18 kills and an ace.
The Pioneers return to the court on Saturday, Aug. 31 as they head to LaVerne, Calif. to take on Whittier and LaVerne. The first match is set for 2:30 p.m.