Volleyball Hits The Road For A Pair Of Games

The Whitworth volleyball team travels to Whitman College to take on the Missionaries Wednesday, October 17th at 6:00 p.m. and then heads to Willamette University to face the Bearcats on Saturday, October 20th at 5:00 p.m.

The Pirates: Whitworth split a pair of games against ranked opponents over the weekend. On Friday, the Bucs fell to No. 14 PLU in five sets. The following night, Whitworth bounced back and defeated No. 13 UPS in five sets. Coach Steve Rupe said that his team has now had a taste of how good they can be with everyone healthy and that the team is looking forward to the second half of conference play.

The teams traded lopsided sets to start off Friday night, with Whitworth taking the first set 25-17 and PLU taking the second set 25-15. The third and fourth sets were much closer, and the teams traded 25-20 victories. The Bucs forced the Lutes to play five sets—something that had only happened twice prior to Friday night's meeting. Whitworth jumped out to an early lead in the final set, but PLU launched a comeback that put the Lutes ahead and just out of Whitworth's reach. PLU took the match 3-2.

On Saturday, the Pirates came out dominant in the first set, hitting .350 to UPS' .098. The second set was much closer, and the Bucs pulled out a 27-25 win. The Loggers made adjustments for the third and fourth set, hitting .140 and .250, respectively, while the Pirates hit .086 and .108.  The fifth set started with the teams trading points early before Whitworth turned on its overdrive and pulling away from Puget Sound.  The Pirates used a .381 fifth set hitting percentage to upset No. 13 UPS 3-2.

Junior Jalana White led the team both nights with game-high kills, finishing Friday with 17 and Saturday with 22. Four players finished with double-digit digs on Friday—White (12), freshman Maddye Dinsmore (14), freshman Nicole Leonard (18) and junior Whitney Santos (23). Five players recorded double-digit digs on Saturday—White (14), Dinsmore (14), junior Abi Hedlund (20), Santos (25) and Leonard (29).

Jalana White leads the team and is among the top five in the conference for her 3.24 kills per set.  Her 217 kills this season also ranks among the top in the league. Nicole Leonard is second on the team with 3.03 kills per set. Freshman Maddye Dinsmore's 8.90 assists per set average rank her among the top five in the NWC.

Junior Briauna Stadeli's seven solo blocks and 37 block assists lead the team and give her an average of 0.67 blocks per set. White is second on the team with 0.60 blocks per set, and Jalana has had 12 solo blocks and assisted on 28 blocks this season. Whitney Santos and Nicole Leonard lead the team in digs per set, with Santos averaging 4.43 and Leonard averaging 4.13.

Abi Hedlund has recorded 15 aces this season for a team-leading average of 0.25 service aces per set. Maddye Dinsmore has had 12 aces for an average of 0.30 aces per set. Whitney Santos and Nicole Leonard have each had 10 aces this season, giving them averages of 0.20 and 0.15, respectively.

The Missionaries: Whitman also split a pair of games against ranked opponents over the weekend; the Missionaries flipped with the Pirates, falling to No. 13 UPS on Friday night and defeating No. 14 PLU on Saturday.

Whitman is led by Jillian Davis, whose 3.56 kills per set is among the top five in the conference. Olivia Nielson's 1.32 blocks per set is also among the top five in the NWC. Courtney Brewer comes in just behind Neilson with .84 blocks per set. Nielson has had nine solo blocks and 66 block assists this season while Brewer has had 12 solo blocks and assisted on 36 blocks.

Rachel Cline averages 7.12 assist per set, while Hannah Linsenmayer averages 4.34 digs per set. Linsenmayer is among the top five in the conference with an average of .37 service aces per set. She has recorded 22 aces already this season. Becca Gotz has recorded 19 aces for an average of .34 service aces per set, while Jillian Davis has 17 aces this season for an average of .33 per set.

The Bearcats: Willamette defeated Linfield 3-2 at home on Friday and then traveled to Pacific (Ore.) where the Bearcats won 3-0.

Madisyn Leenstra leads the team and is among the top five in the conference for her 226 kills on the season. She is averaging 3.53 kills per set. Also among the team leaders in kills per set are Danica Reed and Carly Hargrave, who average 2.35 and 2.23, respectively. Hargrave and Leenstra also lead the team and are among the conference leaders for their .264 and .246 hitting percentages, respectively.

Carly Hargrave's 1.12 blocks per set average not only leads the team but is also among the top of the conference. She has recorded five solo blocks and assisted on 67 blocks this season. Shannon Waltz's six solo blocks and 46 block assists comes in just behind Hargrave, and she has a 1.30 blocks per set average.

Madisyn Leenstra leads her team with a 0.30 service ace per set average and had recorded 19 aces this season. Danica Reed has 14 aces this season for an average of 0.23 aces per set, while Shannon Waltz has 13 aces for an average of .32 aces per set. Kathy Lee Gleen leads her team and is among the top five in the conference for her 5.19 digs per set, while Emily Compton's 9.36 assists per set ranks her among the top in the league.

Northwest Conference Standings:  Pacific Lutheran University remains at the top of the NWC standings this week, with a conference record of 9-1. Puget Sound and Pacific (Ore.) are tied for second with NWC records of 7-3. George Fox is fourth at 6-4. Whitman and Willamette both have 4-6 records to tie for fifth place. At 3-7, Linfield and Whitworth are tied for seventh. Lewis & Clark rounds out the standings in ninth with a 2-8 NWC record.

NWC Leaders: All three teams have mulitple players that are among the top five in the conference in several categories that includes kills per set, number of kills, blocks per set, service aces per set and assists per set.

Jalana White is among the top five in two categories this week. White is averaging 3.24 kills per set this season. Her 39 kills over the weekend bumped her up to 217 kills on the season and pushed her into the top five in the NWC in that category. Maddye Dinsmore is among the top five for her 8.90 assists per set average.

Jillian Davis' 3.56 kills per set rank her among the top five in the conference for the Missionaries.  Olivia Nielson has six solo blocks and 39 block assists to give her an average of 1.32 blocks per set.  Hannah Linsenmayer is averaging 0.37 service aces per set and has recorded 22 aces this season.

Madisyn Leenstra is among the top five in the conference in three categories.  Leenstra has recorded 226 kills this season, averaging 3.53 kills per set and has a hitting percentage of .246. Kathy Lee Glenn averages 5.19 digs per set for the Bearcats, while Emily Compton averages 9.36 assists per set.  Carly Hargrave joins Leenstra in the top five for her .264 hitting percentage, and averages 1.12 blocks per set. Hargrave has had five solo blocks and assisted on 67 blocks this season.

The Coach: Steve Rupe has a record of 210-147 during his 14 year tenure as the Pirates volleyball head coach. He has been named NWC Coach of the Year four times (2001, 2002, 2010 and 2011) and AVCA Coach of the Year once (2005). Rupe is the winningest coach in school history as well as the longest serving Pirate volleyball coach. During his tenure, Whitworth has won five NWC titles and has advanced to the NCAA Division III finals twice (2002, 2005).

Next Up: Whitworth hosts Lewis & Clark at 7:00 p.m. on October 26th and George Fox at 4:00 p.m. on October 27th in the Pirates' last two home games of the season.

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