NEWBERG, Ore. – Whitworth opened the 2018 volleyball season with a perfect start, claiming a pair of 3-1 victories on the opening day of the Oregon Trail Classic at George Fox University.
Jessica Schmautz totaled 26 kills in the two matches to lead the Pirates (2-0). Whitworth will complete the tournament on Saturday against College of New Rochelle (N.Y.) and Johnson and Wales (Colo.).
Match 1: Whitworth d. UC Santa Cruz 25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19
Emiko Kahler led all players with 17 kills, while Lauren Budde pounded 13 kills and added three block assists for the Bucs. Erin White dished 43 assists in her first match back after a year off. Addy Woolery had 16 digs in her first career match.
Whitworth rallied from a 17-14 deficit to win the first set. The Pirates had to hold off a UCSC rally to win the third and took the fourth comfortably after pulling away from a 15-15 tie.
Match 2: Whitworth d. Elmhurst 25-19, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19
The Pirates appeared on the way to a three-set sweep of the Bluejays before Elmhurst rallied from an 18-14 deficit to win the third set. But the Pirates prevented any hope of a complete comeback by dominating the fourth stanza.
Schmautz had 18 kills and three solo blocks for Whitworth. She was the only Pirate player in double figures. Danielle Tang came off the bench for eight kills. Erin White dished 49 assists and Woolery had 26 digs.
It was the first-ever meeting between the Pirates and Bluejays.