Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team is prepared to travel to Georgetown, TX this weekend as they enter the 2017 Division III National Championships for the first time in program history as an at-large bid.
Out of the eight team West Regional the Purple & Gold are the No. 6 seed and open on Friday, November 10 against host Southwestern University beginning at 8:00pm.
The other match-ups on the day include:
12:30pm - No. 4 Pacific Lutheran vs. No. 5 Trinity
3:00pm – No. 1 Colorado College vs. No. 8 New Rochelle
5:30pm – No. 2 Claremont-M-S vs. No. 7 UT Dallas
If Whittier advances they then would take on the winner between Claremont-M-S and UT Dallas on Saturday, November 11.
Head Coach Chris Duarte-McDermott has put together his best season yet at the helm of the Poets Volleyball program and the best single season performance in program history. His team stands at 18-9 and finished SCIAC play at 10-6. Despite missing the SCIAC Post Season Tournament due to tiebreaks, his team still finished in a tie for 2nd place and earned big wins on the season over then No. 10 Trinity (TX), and No. 14 La Verne.
During the season the Poets took on six teams who made the NCAA Division III National Championships and they posted a 4-3 record against those programs, which included:
Ithaca – (W, 3-1)
Berry - (W, 3-1)
Pacific Lutheran – (W, 3-0)
Trinity (TX) – (W, 3-2)
Colorado College – (L, 3-0)
Claremont-M-S – (L, 3-0) (L, 3-0)
The Poets are led by junior transfer Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) who has come in and been a staple on the outside being named 1st Team All-SCIAC playing in 27 matches totaling 335 kills averaging 3.45 kills per set with 25 service aces, 13 assists, and 196 digs.
She is joined by freshman Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.) who was named the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year and 2nd Team All-SCIAC and has proven to be a triple threat adding 304 kills, averaging 3.07 kills per set, with 10 assists, 19 service aces, and 162 digs.
Up front, sophomore Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) has proven to be a major asset as the leading point person for the Purple & Gold putting up a career high 665 assists, averaging 6.65 assists per set with 29 service aces, 267 digs and 41 kills. She was also named 2nd Team All-SCIAC.
In the backrow, senior Clarissa Standafer (Alta Loma, Calif.) has put together an impressive season collecting her 1,000th career dig but totaled a team high 417 digs averaging 4.17 digs per set along with a team high 38 service aces and 102 assists.