SPOKANE, Wash. – Junior Jalana White had a game-high 16 kills as the Whitworth University volleyball team defeated Lewis & Clark College 3-1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-19, 26-24) on Friday evening in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
Whitworth improves to 8-12 on the season, 4-9 in Northwest Conference play, while Lewis & Clark falls to 6-16 on the season, 2-11 in conference action.
"We had good middle play tonight which took pressure off our outsides," Whitworth head coach Steve Rupe said. "We focused all week on having sideout percentage at 60% or better and that showed through in the sets that we won."
Whitworth used back-to-back Lewis & Clark attack errors and a kill from freshman Nicole Leonard to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first set. A service error gave the Pioneers their first point of the night, but junior Kristine Kardell gave the ball back to the Pirates as she came up with a kill to give Whitworth a 4-1 lead. The Pioneers cut the Whitworth lead to three, 9-6, but a kill from Jalana White gave the momentum back to the Bucs. Whitworth hit .231 as the Pirates cruised on to take the first set.
The second set was tougher from the start as the teams traded points back and forth. The teams tied up the score nine times and had seven lead changes as the set went on. Jalana White had a kill to put the Pirates 16-14, but the Pioneers were able to knot it up at 17-17 and then take the lead on a Pirate attack error. Whitworth pulled within one, 23-22 on a kill from Nicole Leonard, but Lewis & Clark followed it with a kill of its own and then Alicia Callejo-Black and Kayla Ernewein blocked an attack from Leonard to score the final point and take the set. Junior Abi Hedlund had a set-high six digs in the second set.
"Abi had a very strong game tonight offensively and defensively," Rupe said.
In the third set, the Pioneers took a 4-2 lead before kills from Kristine Kardell and Nicole Leonard tied the score up at 4-4. Abi Hedlund gave Whitworth an 8-7 lead, but the Pirates gave the point back to the Pioneers on a ball handling error. The teams traded kills and errors before a kill from freshman Maddye Dinsmore gave Whitworth a 13-12 lead. The Pirates kept the lead to the end of the set, where a kill from Nicole Leonard gave the Bucs the set victory.
The Pirates seemed to be in control of the fourth set, as they led 5-2 after a kill by Kristine Kardell, but the Pioneers did not go down easily. Down 17-11 after a block by Kardell and Nicole Leonard, the Pioneers went on a 5-1 run to pull within two, 18-16, and force the Pirates to use a timeout. Jalana White pushed the Bucs back ahead as she came up with a big kill out of the huddle. White had another kill to push the Pirate lead to 21-17. Lewis & Clark fought back, tying the game at 23-23 and pulled ahead 24-23 after a kill by Brigitte Russo, but Kristine Kardell came up with two huge blocks to win the set and seal the Pirate victory.
In addition to her 16 kills, White had nine digs and a hitting percentage of .137. Nicole Leonard had 13 kills, 15 digs, two aces and hit .205 on the night, while Kristine Kardell had 11 kills and three solo blocks. Junior Whitney Santos had 22 digs on the night, while Abi Hedlund recorded eight kills and 20 digs. Maddye Dinsmore finished the night with 12 digs and two aces; junior Anna Buck also had an ace.
Lewis & Clark was led by Kateleya Milan, who had 14 kills, 12 digs and two solo blocks. Brigitte Russo and Jennifer Dowdy each had seven kills for the Pioneers; Dowdy also had an ace. Leia Matsunaga had 22 digs, while Elena Hoff recorded 19 digs. Alicia Callejo-Black had three solo blocks on the night.
Whitworth hosts George Fox on Saturday at 4:00 pm in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.