Stockton, Calif. - Led by their freshman Katy Tagart, the Pacific women's volleyball team threw up a roadblock to Cal State Bakersfield's hope of an upset on Saturday, September 17 as the Tigers swept the Roadrunners, 3-0, to close out the Hilton Stockton Invitational. Pacific improved to 9-4 on the year and 2-1 at the tournament, good enough for a second place finish, while the Roadrunners fell to 3-9 and 0-3 at the invitational.
Game scores for the match were 25-19, 25-19, 25-13.
Using a balanced attack and stifling defense, the Tigers made short work of the visiting Roadrunners in final preparations for the upcoming Big West season. Throughout the night, Pacific was able to work use their superior speed to set up their attack en route to hitting a season-high .340 on the offensive side of the net. With the offense clicking, Pacific was also able to transition their defense more effectively as they tied their season-high for blocks with 10.0 team blocks, led by Tagart's career and match-high seven.
In a match lined with big runs that led to each of the Tigers' leads throughout the three games, the Tigers first showed their ability to score in bunches in the opening set when they used a 10-5 run, including a 4-0 burst at the end, to take control of the first frame. The run led to a 21-15 lead for Pacific and came on the back of all-tournament team setter, Hannah Clancy, as the junior took control of scoring points with her own hands as she scored four of Pacific's 10 points via kills.
A game later, the Tigers looked to their top two hitters for points as senior Samantha Misa and sophomore Jennifer Sanders posted identical lines in the second frame of action by tallying six kills in 10 attacks with no errors. Again, a mid-game run for Pacific turned an 11-11 game into a 20-14 advantage as the Tigers once again found a soft spot in the Roadrunner defense to exploit from which they put their opponents away. Like Clancy in the first game, it was Sanders in the second game that sparked the big run as she scored five of her six points in the 9-3 run to put Pacific on the brink of victory.
Solidily in control of the match, the Tigers wasted little time capturing their ninth win of the season as Pacific ran away with the match in the final game to take a 12 points third game win. Pacific was able to take the match in the final game by outscoring the Roadrunners 17-5 over the final 22 points to turn an 8-8 game into a rout. In addition to a solid team effort, the final match of Pacific's weekend turned into a clinic in blocking for the young freshman as Tagart solidified the Tigers' defense at the net as she posted four blocks in the frame alone, one off of her career-best of five total blocks. Next to Tagart for the majority of her blocks, junior Gabby Cowden provided the Costello to Tagart's Abbott as the veteran middle blocker teamed up for three of the four blocks while finishing the match with six total blocks.
Overall, Pacific saw one attacker reach double-figures in kills as Sanders posted 13 kills in 20 swings while committing just one error to hit .600. The sophomore also added two blocks to round out her night. In addition to her six blocks, Cowden added seven kills on just 12 attacks while Tagart posted three kills to go along with her defense. For Clancy, the junior finished her night with a perfect attacking night as she tallied six kills in six attacks. She also posted 29 assists, eight digs and one block. Joining the Clancy on the all-tournament team was senior Samantha Misa who finished the match with eight kills and six digs.
The lone Roadrunner to earn all-tournament honors, Haleigh Haratyk led the Roadrunners with eight kills on 32 attacks. She also posted four digs, one ace and one blocks in the match.
Pacific will begin its quest for the Big West crown on Wednesday, September 21 when the Aggies of UC Davis come to the Spanos Center. The two teams split their 2010 season series and sit in the top two spots in the conference through the non-conference tournament season.
LMU - Jasmin Rankins
CSUB - Haleigh Haratyk
UCR - Amanda Villalpando
Pacific - Samantha Misa
Pacific - Hannah Clancy
SJSU - Caitlin Andrade
SJSU - Kylie Miraldi (MVP)
SJSU - 1st
Pacific - 2nd
UCR - 3rd
LMU - 4th
CSUB - 5th