McMINNVILLE, Ore. –The Whitworth volleyball team ended its 2012 season on a high note with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 23-25, 29-27) victory over Linfield College on Saturday. The Pirates recorded 60 kills and hit .146 on their way to defeating Linfield (9-15, 4-12 NWC).
"It was a nice way to bookend the season with wins on the road to start and finish," Whitworth head coach Steve Rupe said. "We closed out the match well when they were trying everything to prolong it. Everyone came up with big plays at the end of set 4."
The first set went back-and-forth to start off before kills from juniors Kristine Kardell and Jalana White gave Whitworth a 5-4 lead. The Wildcats bounced back, scoring five unanswered points to go ahead 9-6. Linfield led 16-13, but a rally from Whitworth gave the Pirates a 22-17 lead. During the run, Whitworth saw kills from freshmen Nicole Leonard and Maddye Dinsmore. Whitworth continued to build its lead, going up 24-19, and Jalana White came up with a kill to give the Bucs the first set victory.
In another back-and-forth opening, the second set saw four ties before Nicole Leonard came up with a kill to give Whitworth a 7-6 lead. The Pirates continued to build the lead, going up 17-10 with a run that featured and ace from junior Abi Hedlund and kills from Hedlund and White. The Bucs put themselves just out of Linfield's reach and Jalana White ended the second set in Whitworth's favor with a kill.
Linfield came out fast after the break, going up 2-0 and maintained control for most of the third set. Whitworth challenged, getting within a point on several occasions, including 20-19 and 22-21, but Linfield responded with kills each time to push the Wildcats back in front. Nicole Leonard came up with a kill to pull the Bucs within one just once more, 24-23, but Shayli Coppock gave Linfield the third set victory with a kill to score the final point.
For the second night in a row, the Pirates headed into the fourth set after leading 2-0 in the game. Linfield looked to be carrying its momentum over from the third set at the Wildcats jumped out to a 5-3 lead, but the Bucs weren't finished just yet. After tying the score 12-12, Whitworth went up 14-12 after a kill from Jalana White. Kristine Kardell came up with a kill to give the Pirates a 19-15 lead, but Linfield responded, tying the score 21-21. Determined not to have a repeat of Friday night's loss, the Pirates battled to get back in front, but Linfield was not going to make it an easy task. Nicole Leonard came up with a kill to give Whitworth a 28-27 lead, and Abi Hedlund followed with a kill of her own to get the Bucs the 29-27 victory.
"We feel good about how we ended the year," Rupe said. "We made nice gains at the end of the years and are excited about the prospects for next season with everyone coming back."
Four Pirates finished the nights with double-doubles. Jalana White led the team with a game-high 19 kills and 18 digs. Nicole Leonard had 15 kills and 28 digs, while Abi Hedlund had 15 kills, 16 digs and an ace. Maddye Dinsmore finished the night with 51 assists, 18 digs and an ace. Junior Whitney Santos recorded 20 digs on the night. Sophomore Katie Adams served up two aces for the Bucs, while junior Anna Buck finished the night with an ace.
Courtney Uyeda finished the night with a game-high 35 digs. Kelsey Ludin had 11 kills for the Wildcats, while Shalyi Coppock finished the night with 10 kills. Kailana Ritte-Camara and Audrey Frazier had 24 and 17 digs, respectively.
Whitworth ended the season with a record of 10-13 overall, 6-10 in Northwest Conference play .