Pirates Sweep Puget Sound

Photo courtesy Puget Sound Sports Information office
Photo courtesy Puget Sound Sports Information office

TACOMA, Wash. – Whitworth took another big step toward a 2018 Northwest Conference volleyball title with a 25-20, 26-24, 25-22 win at the University of Puget Sound on Friday night.

The Pirates (18-6 overall, 12-1 NWC) avenged their only conference loss of the season by sweeping the Loggers (11-10, 8-5) on the road.  More important, Whitworth heads into Saturday night's match at 17th-ranked Pacific Lutheran (18-3, 11-2) with a chance to clinch the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament with a victory.

Jessica Schmautz pounded 18 kills to lead Whitworth's offence, which hit .266 with 41 kills.  Lauren Budde added eight kills and Emiko Kahler had seven.

Whitworth trailed 15-12 in the opening set after a kill by Puget Sound's Sarah Blumenfield.  The Pirates responded with a 5-0 run, including a pair of kills from Budde, to go ahead 17-15.  Whitworth pulled away to win the opening set 25-20 on a kill by Madison Douglas.

The Bucs trailed 10-7 early in the second frame, but rallied to grab a 16-14 lead on Iris Tikhonov's solo block.  Whitworth stretched the advantage to 22-18 on Kahler's kill, but the Loggers rallied to tie the set 22-22 on a kill from Sadie Alloway.  The teams traded points until a Schmautz kill and a Logger error gave the set to the Pirates.

Whitworth used a 9-2 run in the third stanza to turn a 9-9 tie into an 18-11 lead.  Schmautz had four kills in that spurt.  The Loggers came back to within 21-20 before the Pirates finally put them away for good with a Douglas kill.

Erin White dished 39 assists to direct Whitworth's efforts.  Addy Woolery and Laina Damon combined for 25 digs, while Tikhonov was in on six blocks (two solo, four assists).

Alloway led the Loggers with nine kills and Sydney Voss had 15 digs.