Women's Volleyball: Chen-Mallouk's 18 Kills Spark Comeback Over Lutes

Women's Volleyball: Chen-Mallouk's 18 Kills Spark Comeback Over Lutes

CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team continue to set new milestones, defeating Pacific Lutheran University for the first time in program history on Saturday evening. Trailing by two sets, the Sagehens' made adjustments in personnel and formation in the receiving end that led to an improved offense that sparked the comeback victory. The offense improved exponentially over the course of the match, as they hit an efficient .229 in the third set, .309 in the fourth, and .333 in the final. 

Naomi Chen-Mallouk led the team with 18 kills while Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong added 10 kills with four blocks. Isabel Kelly also landed 10 kills with four blocks, finishing the weekend on the All-Tournament Team. Adrienne Tong delivered a season-high 42 assists. The Sagehens' adjustment in receiving in the third set led to an improved offense that sparked the comeback.

Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 6-4 record overall.

After dropping the first two sets, the Sagehens cleaned up their receiving that led to their comeback. Services by Adrienne Tong and Laney Pope gave the Lutes trouble as the Sagehens rallied to a 9-5 lead. The Lutes battled back to cut the deficit 15-16, but Naomi Chen-Mallouk silenced their momentum with a huge spike off a toss by Tong. Later with the set tied at 18 apiece, the Sagehens rallied back during Lauren Asato's service, scoring seven straight. During the run, Addo-Ashong contributed a kill, a block, and assisted on the final point to seal the set.

The fourth set opened up fairly tight, but the Sagehens were able to stretch out a lead. Ahead by only 12-11, the Sagehens took advantage of a service error by McKenzie Pfeiffer and rallied four six straight points as their defense frustrated the Lutes into three straight attack errors while Tong assisted on a Grace Fan kill and scored a service ace to make it 18-11. The Lutes never came close to threatening as the Sagehens capped the set with a solo block by Grace Fan to make it 25-17.

Momentum was on the Sagehens' side as they opened up the fifth set with four straight points thanks to two Lutes errors, a dump shot by Tong, and a booming hit by Chen-Mallouk. The Lutes battled back to tie the set at four apiece, but the Sagehens responded with four unanswered points, including two blocks by Grace Fan. With a 9-5 lead, Gaby Harrison frustrated the Lutes with a flurry of perfect services that flustered the Lutes' receiving corp and set the Sagehens up for easy offense. Pomona-Pitzer scored five straight during Harrison's turn, leading 14-5. After a brief scare, during which the Lutes scored three straight, Isabel Kelly sealed the match after hitting a well-placed toss by Tong 15-8.

Up Next: The Sagehens will kick off their SCIAC schedule with a home meeting with Cal Lutheran on Friday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m.