Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team pulled off a huge win at home inside of the Graham Athletic Center Friday night as they came away with the 25-22, 25-16, 25-22 sweep of Chapman University.
The Purple & Gold have now won four in a row and five of their last six as they improve to 6-5, 3-0 SCIAC. They have also only dropped a set over their last four matches as they have outscored their opponents 12-1 since September 8. The Panthers came in as a big test for Whittier posting a 10-1 record, which included a 2-0 mark in SCIAC and a win over Regional opponent Southwestern University (TX).
But the Poets were able to rise to the occasion hitting .276 as a team with double digit kills coming from senior Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) and freshman Kathea Schamblin (Bakersfield, Calif.). Thieme led all scorers with 14 kills, six digs and three block assists, while Schamblin registered 12 kills and seven digs.
Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Hannah Joyce (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) split the setting duties combining for 38 with 26 coming from Purdom. She also added 11 digs, while Joyce put up 12 assists and two service aces.
In the backrow Haley Petruescu (La Mirada, Calif.) had a big night with 11 digs as the defensive specialist.
It was a back and forth opening frame. Whittier was outhit .216 - .200 but used an early 4-1 run to go on top 9-5 before stretching it to 13-9 after two Chapman errors and a kill by Thieme. But CU didn't back away going on their own run to pull within one at 13-12. They stayed close again this time at 16-15 but following a service error and two kills from Schamblin and Thieme WC went back on top 20-15.
CU battled back to tie the set up on two different occasions down the stretch with the last coming at 22-22 but they couldn't get over the hump as Abby Salmon (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and Franki Piloto (Ontario, Calif.) would secure the opening frame with back to back kills capped off with a service ace from Purdom.
Whittier pulled away in the second behind a .312 hitting percentage, while limiting the CU opportunities. Chapman managed to keep it close early and even led at 13-12 but saw the Poets string together seven in a row, which included kills from Schamblin, Piloto and Thieme. This moved the score to 18-13 and WC didn't look back as they put together a 6-1 run to close out the set with three kills coming from Thieme and another two by Piloto.
This put CU in a hole but they didn't go away quietly as they forced WC to comeback in the third going in front 6-2 forcing Head Coach Chris Duarte-McDermott to call a timeout. Out of the break the Purple & Gold got two quick points off the hands of Schamblin and Purdom. Then three points later Piloto and Thieme got together to tie things up at 8-8.
The set went back and forth with another seven lead changes after that until the 18-18 mark where the Poets were able to stretch a lead putting together four unanswered capped off with a Salmon service ace that moved the score to 21-18. Chapman attempted a comeback cutting the deficit to three after a kill from Sophie Srivastava but Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.) and Schamblin stopped that quickly with another two strikes that clinched the clean sweep.
Whittier looks to keep their winning streak intact as they travel to take on Pomona-Pitzer tomorrow, Saturday, September 22 beginning at 6:00pm.