Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team is on the brink of being knocked out of playoff contention following Saturday's loss in four sets to Pomona-Pitzer 25-18, 26-28, 25-18, 25-23.
The match was tight throughout but the Poets struggled to get any offense going with freshman Aubrey Caires (Garnderville, NV) being the lone Poet in double figures with 13 kills on 34 attempts hitting .353.
In the first set, Whittier managed to pull within one at 14-13 sparked by two service aces from Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) but that's as close as they would get as PP would win six of the next points to open the frame up before closing it out with a kill from Jessica Finn.
Whittier turned it around in the second set however storming out in front and swinging the momentum back in their favor after taking a 10-5 lead with a balanced attack from Rebecca Slattery (Los Altos, Calif.), Olive Anagu (Culver City, Calif.), Caires, and Alexis Mills (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.).
Pomona-Pitzer tried to comeback tying things up at 14-14 before taking the lead back at 21-18. But that lead wouldn't hold as WC would win six of the next eight points to grab a set point. After PP would tie it at 24-24, a big block up front would seal the equalizing set for Whittier.
In the third, Whittier went ahead 3-1 early but couldn't hold it as PP would rally to regain the lead, while maintaining it throughout the stanza and using a 5-0 spurt that extended their lead to six before they capped off the set with a 4-1 run.
Leading 2-1, the Sagehens didn't back away in the third despite falling behind early again 4-1. But an ensuing 7-2 run would give them the lead right back and it then became a seesaw battle from that point. Whittier led 16-14 at one point but five straight from the Sagehens would turn the momentum back giving them a 19-16 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish as back to back kills from Stephanie Sun and Isabel Kelly would secure the season sweep.
Slattery finished with nine kills and Casie Lowden (Glendora, Calif.) had seven. Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) finished with 21 digs in the backrow and was joined in double figures by Clarissa Standafer (Alta Loma, Calif.) with 12, Jasmine Tong (Fullerton, Calif.) with 11 and Purdom with 10.
Purdom led in the assists category finishing with 20, while Tong recorded 19.
Whittier returns to action this Tuesday, October 18 when they host Caltech beginning at 7:00pm.