Poets open SCIAC play with sweep over Sagehens

Poets open SCIAC play with sweep over Sagehens

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team extended their winning streak to seven games Tuesday as they swept the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer in their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener.

The Purple & Gold improve to 7-2, 1-0 SCIAC and now sit atop the SCIAC standings.

It was a balanced attack all night for the Poets who hit .232 led by junior transfer Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) who finished with a match high 14 kills, while hitting .289 with seven digs and four block assists. 

Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.) was next in line in the supporting cast with seven, while Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA) and Alexis Mills (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) picked up five kills each. 

A 6-0 run started the first set for the Poets as Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) put on a serving clinic.  Whittier extended the lead to 12-4 but saw the Sagehens storm back to pull within three at 17-14.  They got within three minutes later but that's as close as they would get as a 6-1 run would close out the first stanza with Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) coming up big with two kills that put WC on top.

In the second, Whittier continued where they left off this time getting in front 10-3 but again PP would battle to go in front 15-13 forcing Whittier to call a timeout.  Following the break in action, the Purple & Gold rebounded getting a sideout and rolling off eight of the next ten points en route to taking back the lead at 21-17. 

PP attempted to stay in the frame with kills from Brooke Carlson and Sophie Janssen but it wouldn't be enough as Whittier's offensive attack of Thieme and Sudbrook-Johnson would steal the second late.

In the third, it was a battle even though Whittier held an early lead again at 10-7.  But this time around the Sagehens stayed neck and neck tying things up at 12-12 but again couldn't get over that hump as Whittier would hold the slight advantage before winning five of the final six points, which included a big kill by Thieme that sealed the sweep.

Clarissa Standafer (Alta Loma, Calif.) had a game in the back row finishing with 16 digs and four assists.  Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) totaled 17 assists, while Hannah Joyce (Newport Beach, Calif.) picked up 12, while Mills and Rhee added three blocks each.            

Whittier moves to the road once again this Friday, September 15 as they travel into Orange to take on the Panthers of Chapman University with game time set for 7:00pm.