Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

WEEKEND RECAP: Whitman Volleyball loses Friday, upsets PLU Saturday

Friday, October 12:

The Whitman volleyball team put forth a solid effort but could not overcome the impressive performance of the University of Puget Sound, who are ranked 13th nationally, losing 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 22-25 on Friday night at George Ball Court.

The Missionaries jumped out to an 11-7 lead in the first set, but soon UPS seized control and took a lead that they would not relinquish for the entire set. In an interesting strategic adjustment, Whitman moved star outside hitter junior Jillian Davis from her usual spot on the left to the right, perhaps to throw off the Loggers’ blocking scheme. Unfortunately, the move was largely ineffective, and UPS was able to take the first game 25-22.

Whitman bounced back in the second set, effectively handling the Loggers’ difficult serves. First-year libero Hannah Linsenmayer, who led the team with 23 digs, helped fend off the Logger offense, as did senior middle blocker Olivia Nielson. Nielson picked up three blocks in a row early in the set, which got the Missionaries’ momentum rolling. Whitman seized the lead midway through the set and held on to win 25-21.

Whitman had less success receiving serves in the third set. This difficulty messed with the setting rhythm, in turn making it difficult for the Missionaries to create dangerous opportunities for their outside hitters. UPS finished off the set with three straight aces, winning 25-18. The final set was much more competitive, featuring several long rallies and lead changes. Whitman could never make a strong run largely due to the impressive play of UPS junior libero Christina Chun, who had a team-leading 18 digs. The Loggers withstood a strong final push from Whitman to win the set 25-22, and in turn the match.

Saturday, October 13:

After dropping the first two sets, the Whitman volleyball team stormed back to hand Pacific Lutheran University their first conference loss of the year 30-32, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15, 15-12 at Ball Court Saturday night.

From the first set, the Missionaries showed they would not be intimidated by the 14th-ranked Lutes. PLU jumped out to an early lead behind the play of junior outside hitter Allison Wood, who had a team-leading 15 kills. Whitman maintained their composure and rattled off a 10-1 run to tie the score at 24-24. The teams traded leads in the frenzied final moments, with PLU emerging as the victor 32-30.

Whitman started the second set strong, taking an 8-4 lead. However, it did not take long for the Missionaries to be overwhelmed by the precision of the PLU offense, and the Lutes took the second set 25-20. The third set had a similar beginning, but a different result. Whitman gained a 7-1 lead, but PLU came back to tie the set at 18-18. Behind key digs from junior defensive specialist Becca Gotz, the Missionaries stayed in it, and won 25-23 after two kills from senior middle blocker Olivia Nielson.

The Missionaries kept rolling in the remaining sets, including a dominant fourth set they won 25-15. Middle blockers Nielson and fellow senior Courtney Brewer controlled the net, and junior setter Rachel Cline was able to orchestrate the Whitman attack smoothly. The fifth set was closer, but the Missionaries were able to ride their outside hitters to victory. Davis picked up several kills, including a momentum-shifting spike assisted by senior opposite hitter Rachel Shober. A kill from sophomore Jazmin Moledina finished off the Lutes, and Whitman won 15-12.

The Missionaries now improve to 4-6 in conference play, and 6-11 overall. They will play next against Whitworth University at Ball Court on Oct. 17.

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