Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team had their final road game of 2018 Friday night as they threatened Claremont-M-S in four sets 25-20, 26-24, 26-28, 25-21.
Whittier has given the Athenas all they could handle this season being outscored 6-4 in sets and going the distance the first time they matched up. The Poets have now dropped two in a row, are out of Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament contention and move to 15-12, 8-7 SCIAC.
CMS came into the match-up with the regular season title and home court advantage for the SCIAC Tournament, but was still looking to solidify its No. 6 national ranking and its resume to potentially host an NCAA Regional on November 9-11.
Freshman Kathea Schamblin (Bakersfield, Calif.) returned from injury and posted a team high 13 kills and added 21 digs. Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) had the game of the season with 11 kills on 21 attempts for a .476 hitting percentage and Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) chipped in with 10 kills.
Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Hannah Joyce (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) split the setting duties finishing with 23 and 20 assists, respectively. Purdom also had 12 digs, two service aces, and three kills. Freshman Madisen Diaz (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) played the backrow and posted a career high 14 digs and Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) added nine.
CMS coasted to the first set victory using an early 11-5 run to control the game. Whittier did provide a push though with seven in a row late behind a strong Engle serving effort that cut the deficit to one at 18-17. The Athenas though bounced back with six of their own countering that gave them the opening frame.
In the second, the Poets responded with six of the first seven points with Franki Piloto (Ontario, Calif.), Schamblin, and Alain Rhee (Kent, WA) coming alive up front. They maintained this lead throughout and led 22-17 until CMS added four in a row to pull within one at 22-21. Thieme and a bad set would give WC a set point at 24-21 but they couldn't convert as the Athenas would rally with the next five points to come from behind to put Whittier in a 2-0 hole.
Whittier flipped the script in the third set, though, just as it seemed CMS was on its way to its sixth sweep in a row. The Athenas led 21-16 and then 23-19 but couldn't put it away as the Poets would rally themselves with their own 5-0 spurt with Piloto earning a kill making it 24-23. CMS took away the first set point with a block and a Walker kill would tie things up but in the end an attacking error and a Schamblin kill would keep WC in the match.
Claremont-M-S jumped out in front 10-5 in the fourth set but again Whittier responded this time with a 6-0 run behind Diaz serving to pull in front 11-10. The Athenas took it right back and then led 23-19 but again WC didn't back down earning two points in a row to close within two. These would be the final points gathered by the Poets as CMS would grab the final two points to pull off the home victory.
Whittier conducts their senior day today, Saturday, October 27 when they host the University of Redlands beginning at 4:00pm.