Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team avenged their earlier loss to Chapman University Tuesday night as they held on for the four set victory inside of the Graham Athletic Center.
It was a tough gym to play in for the Panthers as they were coming in taking on a Poet squad who had won three of their last four. After dropping the first set 25-19 the Poets regrouped to sweep the next three frames to come away with the huge win.
The Purple & Gold improve to 14-6, 6-3 SCIAC, while Chapman drops to 11-8, 5-4 SCIAC. The Poets also have moved into the No. 3 spot in the SCIAC Standings.
After hitting .094 in the first set the Poets bounced back to hit .219 and .333 over the next two stanzas, which proved crucial. 13 players saw the court with Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) leading the attack with a match high 18 kills with nine digs. Freshman Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.) joined her in double figures with 14 and Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) chipped in with seven.
Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) led the point once again with 28 assists and was helped by Hannah Joyce (Newport Beach, Calif.) who registered 12 in her rotation. Clarissa Standafer (Alta Loma, Calif.) led the backrow with 14 digs but also helped out up front with seven assists and a service ace.
But the story of the night was the big lineup up front led by Alexis Mills (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.). Despite only having three kills, she made her presence felt on the defensive end with a career high eight blocks (3 solo/5 assist).
The first set remained tight throughout but CU managed to steal six of the last eight points to go on top early. But that didn't keep the Poets down as they erupted for an 8-3 lead capped off with back-to-back-to-back kills from Purdom, Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA), and Whittall.
Chapman used five of the next six points to cut the lead to three but again WC responded with four of their own, which included two services aces from Thieme. The Panthers tried to comeback but the deficit was too large to overcome as Rhee and Thieme leveled the match with kills.
In the third the Poets kept the momentum going despite CU keeping it close. The difference was the 4-0 run midway through by the Purple & Gold with Whittall and Thieme combining together. This stretched the lead to five and the Poets didn't look back as they continued to keep their distance before putting the set away with six of the final seven points capped off with a kill from Aubrey Caires (Garnderville, NV).
In the fourth, Chapman faced a 2-1 deficit. They held a lead at 16-15 but they couldn't hold it as WC would rattle off a 6-1 run that put them on top 21-17. The Panthers though didn't go away quietly as they fought back to tie things up at 23-23 before saving an eventual match-point. But after a service error from Kiley McGill, Thieme would capitalize hammering away a kill in the middle giving the Poets the win.
Whittier goes on the road for a big match-up with Pomona-Pitzer this Friday, October 13 beginning at 7:00pm before returning for a home game against Occidental Saturday, October 14 at 6:00pm.