By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Melanie Fyda from the University of Redlands earned 10 kills and had no attacking errors to lead the Bulldogs past Willamette University, 3-0, in a volleyball match at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8 on the campus of California Lutheran University. The Bulldogs prevailed 25-17, 25-16, 25-23. Redlands advanced its record to 6-1 on the season. Willamette fell to 3-4.
Fyda registered her 10 kills on just 13 total attacks for a .769 hitting percentage. Natalie Starlin added seven killsf or the Bulldogs, while Sofia Olsson produced six kills and just one attacking error on 10 total attacks. Fyda's successful attacking helped Redlands achieve a .263 team hitting percentage. Ally Busch led all players with 22 digs. Olsson recorded four block assists.
Natalie Klotz (Fr., OHOPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS) paced Willamette with 12 kills and only two attacking errors on 36 attacks, as she hit .278 for the Bearcats. She also had eight digs. Arianna Khan (So., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS) provided seven kills. Jaiden Mason (So., S/OPP, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian School) accumulated 23 assists, while Elena Vasquez (So., LIB/DS, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS) contributed a team-high 17 digs.
The team split the first 10 points of the match, but the Bulldogs tallied the next two points to open a 7-1 run for a 12-6 lead. Starlin scored twice on successful attacks during the run. Redlands extended the margin to 20-9 with an 8-3 run that featured five kills -- three by Fyda and two from Starlin. The Bulldogs closed out the set with a 25-17 win.
Redlands held a slim 6-5 lead in the second set after Ally Busch committed a serving error for the Bulldogs. The next six points went to Redlands, including a pair of service aces by Jackie Andrade. The Bulddogs later owned a 20-9 margin before taking the set, 25-16.
In the thirt set, the Bulldogs moved out to leads of 11-3 and 13-5, but Willamette rallied. The Bearcats pulled within 15-11 on a ball-handling error by Redlands. WU trailed 17-14 following a kill by Larsen Fellows (Sr./Jr., OH, Homer, AK/Homer HS) and the Bearcats eventually tied the score at 21-21 on a kill by Klotz.
The Bulldogs scored two points in a row for a 23-21 lead, but a kill by Klotz pulled WU within one point. The teams exchanged the next two points, leaving Redlands with a 24-23 advantage. A ball-handling error by Willamette provided the Bulldogs with the final point.
Willamette will complete the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational with a match against Hardin-Simmons University (Texas) later on Saturday, Sept. 8. Match time is set for 5 p.m. (PDT).