SAN DIMAS, CA – The Royals made history on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 5, as the women's volleyball team received votes nationally to make its first-ever appearance in the NAIA Coaches Top 25 poll. A few hours later, Hope International bounced back from a five-set loss to La Sierra the previous week with a three-set sweep of Life Pacific on the Warriors' court.
The first set of the match was the closest of the night between the two squads. After beginning the evening by trading side-outs with LPC the Royals began to distance themselves from their hosts and built a five-rally lead midway through the match with a 13-8 advantage. Back-to-back blocks set by Camryn Rowell and Hallie Sullivan brought new energy to the HIU roster and the Royals would finish the first set ahead 25-18 at the end.
The Royals' send set was their most efficient as a team on offense – HIU combined to hit .310 as a team with 11 kills and only two errors on 29 attempts, while the Warriors hit an even .000 with nine kills and nine errors in the set. With Jessica Zieg keeping LPC off-balance from the service line, HIU put up six straight points late in the set and cruised to a 25-11 win.
Coach Jessica Walker expanded her rotation in the third set to share the load and her bench mob churned out an early 11-3 lead to open what ended up being the final set of the night. HIU generated 14 kills in 35 swings after taking the early lead and never let go en route to a 25-16 victory to complete the sweep.
"I was extremely happy with how our team played tonight," Coach Walker said after the match. "Bouncing back from a tough match last week showed their character – they were focused on executing the game plan and taking care of the little things [tonight]."
Katie Landazuri notched her fourth double-double of the 2017 season in the sweep and now sits 106 kills shy of breaking the all-time record for HIU with 1051 in her career – Landazuri led all players with 18 kills and tallied 10 digs on the night for the double-double. Zieg dished out 31 assists and served a pair of aces in the third set to run the offense for HIU, while Shea Beeman made 21 digs and climbed into fourth on the all-time list for career digs. Maddy Barrett led the Royals at the net with five solo blocks and one block assist.
HIU hits the road once again this weekend to open GSAC competition with a test at Vanguard University on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 pm. Tune in online via our website hiuroyals.com or travel to Costa Mesa and support your Royals as they play the Lions in Vanguard's Match of the Week!