Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team had a big weekend at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational hosted by Cal Lutheran University. After the two-day event they finished with a split beating Mary Hardin-Baylor in five sets and sweeping Whitman College.
Game 1 (Clarkson; L, 25-23, 25-16, 25-19)
The Poets opened up the Invite against Clarkson and came out sluggish hitting .100 led by Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) with 10 kills. The next player to get close to that was Aubrey Caires (Gardnerville, NV), Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.), and Kathea Schamblin (Bakersfield, Calif.) who each recorded five kills apiece. Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) posted an 18 assists, six dig effort and Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) led the backrow with 13 digs.
Despite not having a kill, sophomore Abby Salmon (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) had a strong game up front totaling seven blocks (2 solo/5 assisted).
Game 2 (Mary Hardin-Baylor; W, 20-25, 15-25, 26-24, 25-18, 15-10)
After the sweep the Purple & Gold came out fired up against Mary Hardin Baylor coming from two sets down to steal the upset victory. The Cru grabbed the first two sets 25-20 and 25-15 and had opportunities in the third to put the match away but couldn't as WC battled back edging UMHB 26-24 before taking the fourth 25-18 and eventually the fifth 15-10.
Thieme had a season high 17 kills on 38 attempts, while hitting .455. She was joined in double figures by Whittall who racked up 12 kills, hitting .294 to go with two assists and three digs. Schamblin missed a double digit kills effort by tallying nine kills but was huge in the back row with a career high 20 digs.
Not to be overlooked was the play of Purdom who again played outstanding this time with a career high 35 assists coupled with two service aces and 13 digs. Marissa Montoya (Glendora, Calif.) supported in the back row with 19 digs, while Haley Petruescu (La Mirada, Calif.) chipped in with a 16 dig effort.
Game 3 (Puget Sound; L, 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 24-26, 15-17)
After the hard fought win the Poets were forced to play yet another five-setter but this time was on the opposite end losing to Puget Sound after leading 2-0. Whittier controlled the first two sets going on top 25-22 and 25-20. After a tough third set loss that allowed the Loggers back into it WC had match-point opportunities in the fourth but couldn't convert. In the fifth Whittier had yet another match-point chance but again it was squandered as UPS was able to rally back for the stunner.
Thieme and Whittall each had big games with 17 kills apiece with Thieme hitting .353 and Whittall .304. Schamblin finally broke through with a double digit kill effort with 11 and also had nine digs and a block assist. Purdom outdid herself as well breaking her career assist mark of 35 with a 38 assist effort along with nine digs and a pair of kills. Hannah Joyce (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) supported her and added 17 assists and nine digs.
Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA) had a solid game posting five kills and added six blocks (1 solo/5 assisted) and Petruescu added nine digs.
Game 4 (Whitman; W, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17)
The Poets wrapped up the tournament with a clean sweep over Whitman College. Schamblin led the offense with 13 kills on 29 attempts, hitting .345 and also had 14 digs. Thieme added nine kills hitting .467 and Salmon (.889) and Whittall each recorded eight kills apiece.
Purdom and Joyce shared the setting duties. Purdom added 25 with three kills and three digs and Joyce tallied 23 assists with four digs and a service ace.
In the back row Montoya registered nine digs with a service ace.
Whittier (3-5) opens up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play this Friday, September 14 when they host Caltech beginning at 7:00pm.