By David Wilson
Three times volleyball led, and three times volleyball failed to finish the job, losing 3-0 (25-20, 25-21 and 25-22) against Chico State on Saturday night.
CPP led for most of the three sets, but Chico State rallied three times to complete the sweep.
“You can’t break down against really good teams, you’ve got to stay neck to neck,” head coach Rosie Wegrich said.
In set three, the Broncos led 15-9 after a kill by junior opposite hitter Desi Martin who led the team with nine kills.
Chico proceeded to call a timeout and both teams came out of the 65 second break different teams.
The Wildcats immediately cut into the Bronco’s lead scoring three straight points on a double block at the net, an attack error by Martin and an ace.
Wegrich called a timeout right after the ace to try and halt the run there but Chico continued by going on a 5-1 run to take a 17-16 lead that ended with another ace and another timeout by Wegrich.
Out of their second timeout in the set, the Broncos steadied a bit, battling back to tie the score at 19 on a play that included freshman outside hitter Chloe Fields-Owens diving parallel to the floor and keeping the ball alive with a back handed dig.
Another 5-1 run by Chico put them up 24-20 with four chances at match point.
A kill by junior outside hitter Andrea Bosnic and a double contact violation on the Wildcats brought the Broncos within two but a kill by sophomore Bekah Boyle handed Chico the sweep.
“Things just got more frantic toward the end,” Bosnic said. “They were fast and were kind of almost slowing down.”
Cal Poly Pomona had its most efficient set in the opening frame, hitting at a .364 percentage.
They held a 9-7 lead after three straight kills by junior outside hitter Jenna Goldsberry and senior opposite hitter Alexandra Gresham.
But as with almost all of CPP’s leads on Saturday night, this one was fleeting.
Chico went on 4-0 run to take a 11-9 lead.
Wegrich called a timeout and CPP responded by going on a 6-1 run before Chico State called a timeout of its own.
Leading 16-12 and nine points away from taking set one, the Broncos first collapse of the night started with a 5-0 run from Chico that gave them a 17-16 lead.
The Broncos trailed for the remainder of the set and handed Chico the set when junior middle blocker Kristen Hamlin’s set point serve hit the net.
In set two, the Broncos led 14-7 before Chico went on a 13-3 run that ended with six consecutive points going the Wildcats way.
Early in the set, senior setter Alina Smith scored two quick dump hits one of which she deposited over the net without looking.
“If it’s there I’ll try and go for it if we really need a side out, if we are struggling in a certain rotation,” Smith said.
Trailing 20-17, CPP could not make up the deficit falling 25-21 after a kill attempt was blocked at the net by Chico State.
“We need more repertoire of smart placements of our hits,” Wegrich said.
The Broncos remain in sixth place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association South Division, needing to get into the top four to earn a playoff berth.
CPP has two more home games before traveling for the final game of the season.
“It just comes down to us being more disciplined, playing more as a team in those crucial moments because I think that’s all it came down to,” Bosnic said.
Christian Manoukian / The Poly Post
Volleyball will play two more games at home and one on the road as the team tries to qualify for the playoffs
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