Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team wrapped up a clean sweep over the weekend holding off Occidental College 20-25, 25-21, 25-17, 26-24 inside Rush Gymnasium.
Whittier moves to .500 on the season at 5-5, 2-0 SCIAC, while Occidental drops to 3-4, 0-1 SCIAC.
Sophomore Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.) returned to the lineup after missing last game and made a huge impact posting a match high 19 kills. The Poets saw themselves down a set but were able to bounce back sweeping the next three to take the match.
The Purple & Gold hit .370 in the second frame and held a lead at 11-8 and then 17-13. The Tigers were able to battle within two on a couple occasions down the stretch but kills from Whittall and Franki Piloto (Ontario, Calif.) would secure the set deadlocking the match.
Two 5-0 runs in the third set proved costly for the Tigers. WC stretched their lead early to 12-6 with Abby Salmon (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) adding two service aces followed by a kill from Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.). Then during the second run Whittall and Thieme went back to back with kills before Oxy would add three attacking errors that moved the score to 19-12.
The Tigers attempted a comeback with five points soon after but they still had no response for the Poet offensive attack as WC would go on top 2-1 after Piloto and Thieme would hammer home the final three points of the set.
In the fourth, Oxy tried everything to erase a five-point deficit late coming all the way back to tie things up at 24-24. But the Poets were able to counter with Whittall and Piloto securing the win with another two tallies.
Thieme was the second Poet in double figures finishing with 17 kills, hitting .268 and posting a team high 16 digs. Piloto came off the bench to put up eight kills on 17 attempts to hit .412 along with four block assists and Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA) added a four kill effort with three block assists.
Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) posted 28 assists with two kills, three service aces, and 11 digs for another strong performance.
Whittier doesn't return to competition until Friday, September 21 when they host Chapman University beginning at 7:00pm.