Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team opened up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play Friday night at home sweeping the California Institute of Technology 25-16, 25-15, 25-22.
The Poets got out on top 10-6 but saw an ensuing 4-1 run by CIT cut the deficit to one. The Beavers continued to battle to tie things up at 15-15 and then to stay within one at 17-16 but that's as close as they would get as Hannah Joyce (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) would go off with eight in a row serving, which included three service aces that locked in the first set for WC.
In the second, it was all Whittier using a 9-0 run early to extend their lead to 16-7 behind a strong serving effort by Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) who added two aces followed by four consecutive kills by Kathea Schamblin (Bakersfield, Calif.), Abby Salmon (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), and Katelyn Popoff (Hacienda Heights, Calif.).
Then to finish things off, the Poets used three Caltech attacking errors to go on top 2-0.
Head Coach Chris Duarte-McDermott played his reserves in the third and Caltech gave them all they could handle holding a slight lead throughout, which included a 15-12 edge. But WC didn't back down using five in a row to spark a comeback thanks to back to back to back kills from Marissa Montoya (Glendora, Calif.), Franki Piloto (Ontario, Calif.), and Valerie van der Linden (Auburn, Calif.). This put the Poets back on top 17-15 and they didn't look back as they would hold on down the stretch with Schamblin and Montoya putting the finishing touches on the sweep with another two kills.
Whittier hit .255 as a team led by Schamblin with 13 kills on 28 attempts hitting .393. She was joined by Thieme with eight and seven digs and Piloto with five kills and a .500 hitting percentage.
Purdom tallied 22 assists and Schamblin and Haley Petruescu (La Mirada, Calif.) would each provide 11 digs in the back row.
Whittier has a short turnaround as they travel tomorrow, Saturday, September 15 when they go take on Occidental College in a big SCIAC showdown beginning at 2:00pm.