Stockton, Calif. – Playing in honor of all those affected by breast cancer, the Pacific women's volleyball team took to the court for its annual Dig Pink event and put on an offensive clinic for the 1,002 attendance. Dispatching the visiting UC Riverside Highlanders, 3-0, on Saturday, October 8, the Tigers improved to 12-7 on the year and 3-3 in Big West play. The loss dropped the Highlanders to 4-15 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
Game scores for the match were: 25-19, 25-16, 25-20.
Picking up right where they left off from the previous night, the Tigers offense came out on fire in game one to open up the night and take control of the match early. Down 6-3, the Tigers rolled off six straight points, led by junior Gabby Cowden's three kills, and never looked back. Led by the duo Cowden and sophomore Megan Birch, Pacific posted a .393 hitting percentage in game one, its second-highest single game percentage of the season.
With a game in hand, the Tigers made short work of the Highlanders in game two as they turned a 10-10 game into a route by scoring 15 of the final 21 points in the frame. As a team, the Tigers outdid their game one performance by hitting .419 in the frame, once again committing just two errors in the game. After starting slowly and going without a kill in game one, senior Samantha Misa put down six kills in game two while scoring four of her points during Pacific's break away from the Highlanders.
Looking to close out the match with their first sweep of the conference season, the Tigers took to the court in game three and put to rest any hopes of a Highlander comeback with a display of defense at the net. Posting five team blocks in the game, including three from junior Hannah Clancy and sophomore Jennifer Sanders, Pacific was able to balance out its weakest hitting game of the night to pick up the victory.
For the match, the Tigers saw another stellar effort out of Birch who hammered home a team-high 13 kills on just 24 attacks to hit .533. The sophomore committed just one error in the match, making her lone mistake in game two of the night. Following Birch's lead, Cowden finished the night without an error at the net as she posted eight kills in 15 attacks while adding two aces and one block. Defensively, Sanders posted a match-high five blocks while also posting nine kills on 23 attacks with just one error.
On the other side of the net, Amanda Vialpando tried her best to keep the Highlanders in the match as she posted a match-high 17 kills on 35 attacks with no errors. She also posted a match-high 12 digs in the match to finish the night with the match's lone double-double. Shelby LeDuff finished with 13 kills to finish just behind Vialpando on the kills list while hitting .346 for the match.
Pacific will be back in action on Friday, October 14 when the team hits the road to Southern California to take on Cal State Fullerton. The Tigers and the Titans will face off at 7:00 pm at Titan Gym.