Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – It was a highly anticipated match-up between the Tigers of Occidental College and your Whittier College Volleyball team who went the distance Saturday night inside of the Graham Athletic Center.
It went back and forth all night but the Purple & Gold were able to keep their winning streak intact at five games as they pulled off the 16-25, 32-30, 25-16, 20-25, 17-15 victory.
With the win the Poets have improved to 16-6, 8-3 SCIAC, cap off a 3-0 week and hold firm to the No. 3 slot within the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings.
It was a rough start for Whittier in the first set as costly errors allowed Oxy to take a 1-0 lead. The Poets though regrouped and put together an impressive second set as they leveled the match at 1-1 with a 32-30 victory, the largest point total in a single set all season. The Poets held this momentum into the 3rd set rolling the Tigers to go in front 2-1 but somehow Oxy was able to claw their back to deadlock the match at 2-2. In the decisive frame, Whittier saw themselves hold three match points but couldn't get any of them until the fourth came around, which they would grab to collect the home victory.
Head Coach Chris Duarte-McDermott used 14 different players in the game and relied heavily on bench players due to injuries to two starters. But those reserves stepped up to the occasion filling in those roles. Freshman Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.) led the Poets with 22 kills with 14 digs and was joined by Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) who tossed in 18 kills.
But the big outlier in the contest was sophomore Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) who added eight kills coming in big situations including giving the Poets a final match-point in the 5th set.
Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) had a big double double with 35 assists and a career high 21 digs, while Hannah Joyce (Newport Beach, Calif.) went 17 (Assists) and 7 (Digs). Clarissa Standafer (Alta Loma, Calif.) led the back row with 23 digs and also registered seven assists and three service aces, while Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA) was big up front with seven kills, four digs, and five total blocks.
Whittier looks to keep their winning streak intact this Friday, October 20 as they travel to take on Cal Lutheran University beginning at 7:00pm.