Women’s Indoor Volleyball loses 0-3 last weekend

By Wilder Isom | October 26, 2021 5:41pm

Pilots break their huddle as they go into the third set.

Media Credit: Marek Corsello / The Beacon

The Pilots returned to Chiles to take on the Pepperdine Waves on Saturday, Oct. 23. Decked out in pink accessories for breast cancer awareness, the team’s energy and strength was palpable, and the fans reflected that passion. 

After an exciting match, the Pilots Women indoor volleyball team lost 3-0 to the nationally ranked Pepperdine Waves.

The first set started off in Pepperdine’s favor as they pulled ahead 8-2. Both teams rallied back and forth well.

“We've been working a lot on our offense this week specifically,” Head Coach Megan Burton said. “I thought Jade Harris did a really good job. She's been really carrying our team this season, especially offensively, and it was nice to see her translate what she's been doing in practice, as far as taking risks on good sets.”

The Pilots were unable to pull ahead in the first set, and despite many back and forths, lost 25-12.

The second set began tied for a few points as the Pilots demonstrated great team play, ending with a solid kill from Junior Noelani Helm. 

Noelani Helm getting set before the serve.

by Marek Corsello / The Beacon

The Pilots kept the Waves on their toes, trailing behind by only one point for the majority of the set. Freshman Alyssa Muraoka dove to the floor to pull off a great up and to help her team to another point. 

With another effective spike from Helm, the pilots held on to a two point gap with Pepperdine. Pepperdine pulled further ahead with the largest gap of the set at 12-17.

The Pilots made the end of the second set a nail biter by tying it up 20-20 and then answering Pepperdine's next point with their own, 21-21. However, Pepperdine managed to pull away to win the second set 25-21. 

“We served very tough from the baseline,”  Burton said. “We put a lot of pressure on Pepperdine and serve receive. They have a lot of weapons, so we want to make sure that we're making it very difficult for them — we're getting them off the net.”

The Pilots showed their strength at the start of the third set with their largest lead of the day, 5-2.

Junior Grace Zilbert celebrates a point with teammates.

by Marek Corsello / The Beacon

But Pepperdine found their stride and pulled ahead 13-5 with a hot streak of serves from Trinity Stranger.

The Pilots fought to stay in the game but Pepperdine scored the final two points to win the game through all three sets. 

“I love the fact that our team has no quit in them,” Burton said. “They always battle, they leave it all on the floor and that's so important.” 

Pilots getting set before the serve.

by Marek Corsello / The Beacon

The Pilots hit the road for their next two games; St. Mary’s on Oct. 28 and then University of the Pacific on Oct. 30. They return home on Nov. 4 for a game against San Diego.

Wilder Isom is a sports reporter for the Beacon. She can be reached at isomw24@up.edu