Weekend Recap: Whitman Volleyball Team Starts Conference Season Strong
Whitman College women’s volleyball endured a rough preseason in which the team had a six-game losing streak and an overall record of 3–11. However, on the night of Friday, Sept. 23 in the Sherwood Athletic Center, the team left the preseason behind in their Northwest Conference opener as they finished off a hard earned win against Lewis & Clark College.
The opener was an exciting match that featured many long rallies between the two teams and many outstanding performances from Whitman players. The team finished with 63 kills total, with three Whitman players moving into double figures; senior Jillian Davis lead the charge with 16 kills, senior Rachel Cline with 15 kills and junior Megan Bafus with 14 kills.
It was a hard fought match, which showed off the resiliency of the team, as each set went down to the last few points. Whitman won 3–1 overall (28–26, 25–20, 23–25, 25–16).
The first set established the tone for the rest of the game. It lasted almost 40 minutes with many long rallies, as each team struggled to achieve the upper hand, until Whitman pulled through and won the set 28–26.
The team then took the second set with a little more breathing room winning the set 25–20. However, the Pioneers were not done just yet, as they squeaked through with a 25–23 win in the third set. Whitman refused to allow any comeback and dominated the final set winning 25–16.
Whitman Adds to Perfect Start
The Saturday after Whitman Volleyball won a tough match against Lewis & Clark, the women were right back on the court against a dangerous Willamette University team in Sherwood.
The team had a dominating attack totaling up 64 kills with four players achieving double digits; Davis led the charge with 20 kills, followed by junior Bafus with 15, senior Cline with 13 and first-year Shae Kanakaole with 11.
Each set was a nail-biter going down to the last few points to decide the victor. However, after five sets, Whitman pulled off the win (19–25, 25–20, 25–21, 21–25, 15–12).
Willamette put together a strong first set to win 25-19 over Whitman. Whitman was resilient and pulled off back to back wins, but Willamette bounced back with a win in the fourth set sending the game to an exhausting fifth set which Whitman won 15-12. This moves Whitman to 2–0 on the season, and Willamette to 0–2 on the season.
With two wins in the regular season, the team is now off to a perfect start at 2-0 in conference play and is tied for first place with University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University. Whitman continues their season with two away games against Pacific on Friday, Sept. 27th, and Sept. 28th against George Fox University. The next home game comes on Oct. 4th against Pacific Lutheran.
With two impressive wins under their belts, the team looks past a rough preseason and toward a bright season.
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