SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Whitworth volleyball team opened the 2012 season by defeating No. 24 Trinity (Tex.) 23-25, 25-19, 16-25, 26-24, 15-12 on Friday afternoon at the 2012 Courtyard by Marriott Wittenberg National Invitational.
Whitworth (1-0) fell in a close first set, 23-25. Trinity (0-1) was able to get the winning point off of a Pirates service error. The Pirates came out strong in the second set, winning 25-19 and limiting the Tigers' hitting to .085. Trinity returned the favor in the third set, taking it by a score of 25-16 and limiting Whitworth's hitting to .059.
The fourth set followed a different pattern, as neither team was able to pull ahead by more than two points. Whitworth was able to pull out the final two points off of a Trinity error followed by a kill by freshman Nicole Leonard.
Whitworth kept the fifth match close as well. Leonard recorded a kill and then a block, along with junior Briauna Stadeli, to get the final two points of the set and clinch the victory for the Pirates.
Leonard and junior Jalana White had 22 kills each to lead the Pirates, while junior Kristine Kardell recorded 10. Leonard also led with 23 digs, while freshman Izze Ginley recorded 22. The Pirates had seven total team blocks.
Whitworth will play the tournament host, No. 5 Wittenberg, at 10 am (EST) / 7 am (PDT) tomorrow before facing Wartburg at 3 pm (EST) / 12 pm (PDT).