STOCKTON – The Pacific women’s volleyball team welcomed the Portland Pilots to the Spanos Center on Thursday seeking to snap its three-game losing streak against the team that has never won in Stockton.
Instead, the Pilots swept the Tigers 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 to extend their winning streak in West Coast Conference action and improve to 14-4, 4-2 WC). The Tigers (6-12, 1-3) lost for just the second time in 13 matches all-time against Portland, as Pacific continues to battle through injuries to its young team that starts four freshmen.
“We’ve got to win the serve and pass battle,” Pacific coach Greg Gibbons said. “These girls want to do well, they play hard, but the reality is little things matter. We need to clean up some of the little things as far as covering up our hitters because we know we’re going to get blocked.
“Some of the things we went over in scouting we didn’t execute on. What really matters is what are we going to learn and take from this for tomorrow.”
Next up for Pacific is Gonzaga at noon Saturday.
While the Tigers struggled to maintain a respectable hitting percentage, hitting .202 for the match compared to .444 by the Pilots, it was Portland that was literally errorless on the stat sheet for the first two sets. In fact, the Pilots committed just three errors in the match.
“It felt really nice because it’s always a challenge to play here in the Spanos Center,” said first-year head coach Jeff Baxter, who remembered being swept by the Tigers last season as an assistant. “Pacific is well-coached, so we’re happy, obviously, with the win. We played some really high-level volleyball for two sets in this match.”
The Tigers showed life in the third set, tying the game at 21-21 apiece on Alex Holt’s seventh kill, but Portland claimed four of the last five points for the sweep. Kaitlyn Lines led Pacific with 14 kills while Riley Ramsey added 12. Hanne De Scrijver had 34 assists, and both Riley Patterson and Jadyn Tubbs had a dozen digs each.
Patterson, a freshman from Sonora, said the Tigers need to play with more energy and more unified as a team.
“We had some good moments, but we need to play like that throughout the whole entire game,” Patterson said. “It was kind of rough, so we just have to get in the gym and get better. We have a game on Saturday, so we can’t dwell on this too long.”