SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Riding a six match winning streak, the Vanguard Lions (8-7, 5-1) faced their biggest test to date in Golden State Athletic Conference play as they played at fifth ranked and defending GSAC champions Westmont College (20-1, 6-0). The Warriors would defeat the Blue and Gold 25-12, 25-21,29-27. Despite the loss, the Pride sits in second place just a game back from Westmont with another matchup with the Warriors set for later in the conference slate.
After a solid week of practice, the Lions made the three hour trip north to take on the top team in the conference. The opening frame did not go according to plan as the Lions tallied both seven kills and seven errors while the Warriors posted 13 more kills than errors for a .342 hitting percentage. Moving into the second set, the Lions put up their best offensive numbers with .250 hitting and a match low five errors committed. But, at the same time, the Warriors had their best hitting set with 19 kills and a .362 average in the Blue and Gold's four point loss. With their backs up against the wall, the Pride kept fighting and pushed the third set into extra points before ultimately falling 29-27.
Juanae Johnson (SR/Santa Monica, CA) was the star for the Lions on the offensive end posting 11 kills on 23 attempts for .348 hitting. She was second in the contest for total kills behind Libby Dahlberg from Westmont. Shaylen Larson-Piper (JR/Elizabeth, CO) was second for the Pride with 10 kills and Taylor Jackson (SR/Las Vegas, NV) ended with eight on the day. Kirstin Trabert (SO/Corona, CA) tossed out 20 assists while 16 were recorded by Kylie Garett. Rebecca Lowden (JR/Glendora, CA) tallied 17 digs, one shy of the match high posted by Westmont's Taylor Beckman. The teams were close in blocks – 9.0 for Westmont and 8.0 for Vanguard – but the biggest contributor was Hailey Gordon (JR/San Diego, CA) with seven block assists at the net.
Next Match: Saturday, September 30th against the Master's University at 7:00 p.m.