THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Whitworth closed its participation at the Cal-Lu-Fornia Invitational with a pair of losses on Saturday at Gilbert Arena on the campus of California Lutheran University.
The Pirates fell to Whittier College 3-2 and were swept by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3-0 to fall to 3-5 this season. Whitworth has only one more non-conference match the rest of the season, at Lewis-Clark State on October 25. The Bucs are now 3-5 heading into their Northwest Conference opener on Friday at Pacific Lutheran.
Match 1: Whittier 3, Whitworth 2 (25-19, 16-25, 15-25, 25-15, 15-7)
The Poets rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to defeat the Pirates, despite 21 kills and 12 digs from Cassandra Mendoza.
Mendoza led three Pirates in double figures as Emiko Kahler added 12 kills and Jessica Schmautz had 11 in her first start for the Pirates. Gracie Meiners dished 47 assists and Taylor Wicht finished with 21 digs.
After Whittier won the first set, Whitworth appeared to take control of the match by winning the second and third sets in easy fashion. But the Poets (5-2) returned the favor with a 25-15 win in the fourth set and pulled away to win the clincher 15-7.
The Pirates had a season-high eight team blocks in the match (six solo, four assisted). Madison Douglas was in on three of those blocks.
Match 2: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3, Whitworth 0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-13)
The 9th-ranked Athenas shut down the Pirates with 12 teams blocks and held the Bucs to a negative hitting percentage while rolling to the sweep in the tournament finale for both schools.
Whitworth never got into the match offensively, posting a negative percentage in two of the three sets to finish the match -.059. Madison Douglas led the Bucs with seven kills and was the only starter with a positive hitting percentage (.267).
CMS improved to 5-2 this season.