SPOKANE, Wash. – Emiko Kahler had a career-high 12 kills to lead Whitworth to a 3-1 win over visiting Pacific (Ore.) in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Saturday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.
The Pirates won 25-21, 17-25, 25-12, 26-24 to improve to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the NWC despite playing without leading attacker Cassandra Mendoza. Pacific dropped to 6-6, 0-2.
Kahler hit .385 with only two errors in 26 attempts to lead the Pirates. Lauren Budde added nine kills and was in on six blocks, while Brenna Bruil contributed nine kills and five block assists. Erin White had 37 assists and five service aces for the Bucs and Taylor Wicht finished with 21 digs.
Whitworth rallied from a 20-14 deficit to win the first set, closing on an 11-1 run. Kahler had two kills late in that run, which ended on a Pacific attack error.
Pacific held on to its lead to claim the second set. The Boxers never trailed after jumping ahead 4-0 and 7-2 in the early going. Whitworth was still within 16-12 before Pacific pulled away late.
The third set was all Pirates. Whitworth jumped to a 7-2 lead and steadily pulled away. The Pirates hit .360 as a team in that set with 12 kills and only three errors in 25 attacks.
Pacific was poised to push the match to a fifth set after taking an early 9-3 lead on a kill by Kelly Wahl. But Whitworth slowly climbed back into the set, eventually drawing to an 18-18 tie. The match was still tied 24-24 before the Pirates went up one on a Pacific service error and won the match on Chloe Luedecker's fourth service ace of the night.
Tiare Kaopua had 15 kills for Pacific and Karlee Duncan finished with ten. Jamie Steach dished 31 assists.
Whitworth will return to action on Tuesday night with a non-conference match at Lewis-Clark State.