Volleyball Faces Tough Competition On The Coast

Volleyball Faces Tough Competition On The Coast

The Whitworth University volleyball team travels to the coast for a pair of Northwest Conference matchups with ranked foes this weekend. The Pirates will face the No. 14 Puget Sound at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1 and No. 16 Pacific Lutheran at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2.

The Pirates hold sole possession of third place in the NWC team standings. Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran lead the field with matching 11-1 records in conference play.

Live stats and video will be available for both matches on the volleyball schedule

The Pirates: Whitworth split action last weekend, defeating George Fox 3-0 on Friday before falling 3-2 to Pacific (Ore.). Whitworth enters this weekend with an overall record of 13-11 and the Pirates are 7-5 in NWC action.

Offensively, Jalana White leads the team with 355 kills (3.70 k/set), and has 16 service aces this season. Nicole Leonard is second on the team with 276 kills (2.88 d/set) for the Pirates, with 13 service aces. Kristine Kardell is third on the team with 261 kills (2.78 k/set). Maddye Dinsmore has 1,008 assists (10.50 ast./set) and has a team-high 28 service aces this season. Briauna Stadeli's six aces against PLU moved her up to 18 on the season, second-most on the team. Whitney Santos has served up 17 aces, while Anna Buck has 16 aces this season.

On defense, Santos leads the team with 472 digs (5.19 d/set). Kardell leads the team with 69 blocks, including 13 solo blocks. White is fourth on the team with 213 digs (2.22 d/set) and is the fourth leading blocker, with nine of her 35 blocks this season being solo blocks. Leonard is second on the team for her 335 digs (3.49 d/set) and is fifth on the team with 27 blocks this season.  Briauna Stadeli is the second leading blocker with 50 blocks this season, while Tori LaBrie is third on the team with 45 blocks. Maddye Dinsmore is third on the team with 289 digs (3.01 d/set).

National Leaders: Three Pirates rank nationally in four categories. Sophomore Maddye Dinsmore ranks 13th among NCAA Division III players for her 10.50 assists per set. Senior Whitney Santos ranks 47th among DIII players for her 5.19 digs per set. Senior Jalana White is 48th with 3.70 kills per set and is 69th for her 4.09 points per set.

Whitworth is also ranked nationally as a team. The Pirates rank 35th in assists per set, 39th in digs per set, and 46th in kills per set among Division III teams this season.

The Opponents: Puget Sound enters the match with a 16-5 overall record. The Loggers are 11-1 in Northwest Conference play after defeating Pacific Lutheran, 3-2, and Lewis & Clark, 3-0, last week. Puget Sound is led offensively by Jackie Harvey, who has 256 kills this season for a 3.20 k/set average. Defensively, Christina Chun's 355 digs (4.44 d/set) lead the Loggers. Nicolette Reynaud has 57 blocks, including 15 solo blocks, to lead UPS. Jenni Brehove leads the team with 755 assists. Jackie Harvey leads the Loggers with 33 service aces this season. Brehove (28), Marissa Florant (22), Jalene Toy (21), Karly Edwards (19) and Chun (16) join Harvey with double figure aces this season.

Whitworth fell to Puget Sound 3-2 in Spokane in early October.

Pacific Lutheran enters the match with a 15-5 overall record. The Lutes are 11-1 in Northwest Conference play after splitting last week, falling to at Puget Sound, 3-2, and defeating Willamette, 3-2. Pacific Lutheran is led offensively by Lucy Capron, who has 174 kills this season for a 2.32 k/set average. Defensively, Amber Aguiar's 475 digs (6.33 d/set) leads the Lutes. Samantha North has 768 assists for the Lutes this season. Bethany Huston has 69 blocks, including 12 solo blocks, to lead PLU. Capron also leads the team in service aces, with 33 this season. Haley Urdahl (28), Aubrey Larion (27), Aguiar (21), North (19), Allison Wood (15) and Taylor Komagome (10) join Capron with double digit aces this season.

Whitworth lost to Pacific Lutheran 3-2 in Spokane in early October.

NWC Leaders: Whitworth has three players that rank first among Northwest Conference players in three categories and two additional players that rank in the top five. Overall, Whitworth has five players that rank in the top five in five categories.

Jalana White (355), Nicole Leonard (276) and Kristine Kardell (261) hold three of the top five spots in number of kills this season. White is also second in kills per set (3.70). Whitney Santos ranks first for her 490 digs and fifth for her 5.21 digs per set average. Maddye Dinsmore's 10.50 assists per set lead the conference.

Puget Sound has three players that rank in the top five in three Northwest Conference statistical categories. Nicolette Reynaud's .268 hitting percentage is third in the conference, while Jenni Brehove ranks third for her 9.81 assists per set. Jackie Harvey is tied for third with 0.41 service aces per set.

Pacific Lutheran has six players that rank in the top five in six NWC categories, while ranking two players in two categories. Amber Aguiar ranks first for her 6.33 digs per set and is second with 475 digs. Bethany Huston ranks second for her .292 hitting percentage and fifth for her 0.92 blocks per set. Lucy Capron's 0.44 service aces per set rank second among conference players, while Aubrey Larion is tied for third with 0.41 service aces. Samantha North ranks second behind Whitney Santos for her 10.24 assists per set, and Amy Wooten ranks fourth for her .253 hitting percentage.

The Head Coach: Kati Bodecker enters her first season as head coach of the Pirates. Bodecker comes to Whitworth after six successful seasons as the head volleyball coach at Priest River Lamanna. During her time at the helm, the Spartans posted five winning seasons and five state tournament appearances and she was named league Coach of the Year in 2007 and Idaho Co-Coach of the Year in 2012. A four-year starter at the University of Idaho, Bodecker ranks eighth in kills per set and tied for ninth in single season kills on the all-time Vandals leader list.