Knights volleyball team splits on opening day of Leo Invitational
La Verne, CA – Senior Xiao Liang (Tianjin, China) was virtually unstoppable for the Clarkson University Volleyball team in a five-set win over UC-Santa Cruz, producing 16 kills and six blocks in the 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-13 victory, but the Golden Knights were clearly spent from travel and their first match in a three-set loss (25-23, 25-22, 25-13) to La Verne following the exhausting win.
The Golden Knights moved to 7-3 on the season and are 1-1 in the Leo Invitational. Clarkson will take on fourth-ranked Elmhurst and Whittier College on Saturday, coming back to action less than 11 hours following their final match Friday night.Liang struck for 16 kills with only two errors in 32 swings (.438 hitting percentage) and added four solo blocks with a pair of block assists. A pair of sophomores returned to action at just the right time, and close to home, for the Knights as Kirstie Shurie (LaCanada, CA) produced a double-double with 18 assists and 15 digs and Aishvina Arasu (Brea, CA) contributed 11 kills. Senior Lani Durio (Austin, TX) led the team with 19 assists and also contributed eight digs, while classmate Erika Chin (Katy, TX) produced a team-best 21 digs while tossing in 11 assists. Sophomore Lauren Hutchinson (Spring, TX) was strong from the right side with 10 kills and just three errors in 25 attacks.
Overall, the Knights had 14 blocks, with nine solo blocks and 10 block assists, led by Liang's six total blocks. Sophomore Danielle Farabee (Katy, TX) also had five total blocks with two solo blocks and three block assists.
In the second match of the night, La Verne would not allow the Knights to put many balls down as they put together an impressive defensive effort to make Clarkson work for each and every point. The Knights fell behind late in each set and rallied to get within striking distance, but each time the Leopards were able to hold off the late charge of the Knights.
Shurie and Durio split setting duties and recorded 13 and 12 assists, respectively, while Chin came through with 16 digs defensively. Arasu led the team with seven kills and freshman Sierra Rhoades (Poway, CA) added six kills. Farabee had four blocks, one solo and three assists.