RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Seattle U volleyball punched its ticket to next week’s Western Athletic Conference Tournament with a decisive victory on Sunday as it blanked California Baptist, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-21). The Redhawks (13-16, 4-12 WAC) out hit the Lancers, .183 to .112, finishing with a 40-30 advantage in kills en route to their second sweep of the season. 

The Redhawks will make their seventh-consecutive WAC Tournament appearance on Thursday, Nov. 21 as the sixth-seed, facing No. 3-seeded Kansas City in the opening round of action from Orem, Utah. First serve is slated 2:30 pm PT.

“I’m very happy with how we played today and our overall effort,” said head coach James Finley. “Our ball control and defense looked really good today. I think the main difference for us though was our ability to apply pressure whenever we had the lead and I believe the aggressive serving  approach played a huge part.”

Eve Kerschenbaum paced the Seattle U attack hitting a match-best .458 with 15 kills. Ezgi Ozkan finished with 32 assists and two kills, to go along with 10 digs for her sixth double-double of the season and third in the last four outings.

Rachel Stark had an all-around effort posting nine kills, eight digs, and blocks. Tijana Milojevic held down the backline with a match-best 11 digs.

A pair of of early aces from Ozkan and back-to-back kills from Kerschenbaum saw the Redhawks sprint out to a 6-0 lead in the first, resulting in a quick timeout from the CBU bench. The Lancers got themselves on the board, trimming the SU advantage to 8-5. Seattle U then look a 13-6 lead as Lauren McCabe and Stark teamed up for consecutive stops as part of 5-1 run. After a 4-0 spurt from the Lancers reduced the margin to 13-10, Kerschenbaum landed a pair of heavy swings pushing the SU lead to 17-11. Down the stretch, McCabe and Stark again teamed up for their third stop of the frame as part of a 3-0 spurt, giving Seattle U a 23-16 lead. A late CBU service error then setup set point, allowing Kerschenbaum to bury her seventh of the stanza as the Redhawks won the frame, 25-18.

Back-and-forth action highlighted the second set early, until California Baptist strung together four unanswered for a 15-14 lead at the media timeout. Ozkan then landed a kill coming out of the break, tying the set at 15. The Redhawks would then account for six of the next eight points as they pulled out to a 21-18 advantage. CBU scored consecutive points, narrowing the lead to 21-20, before a trio of costly miscues nudged the SU advantage to 24-20. Following a timeout, the Lancers cut the lead to 24-22, but the effort fell short as Stark secured the point and gave Seattle U a 2-0 match lead. 

Trailing 9-5 in the third, the Redhawks stormed back with a 9-1 rally pushing past CBU for a 14-10 advantage. During the run, Ozkan tallied her third and fourth aces of the day in back-to-back fashion tying the frame at 9-9. Kerschenbaum, Carr and Carter also contributed to the cause tallying kills along the way. Keen service from the Redhawks then saw Milojevic also notch back-to-back aces pushing her season total to 40 and the Seattle U margin to five, 17-12. CBU pulled within two, 18-16, early during the final stretch, but that was the closest it got as SU responded with a 5-1 spurt. The Lancers launched a final push late, but a kill from Carter slammed the door as Seattle U completed the sweep with a 25-21 decision.