ATLANTA – The Whitworth Pirates concluded the Emory University National Tournament by going 1-2 on Saturday. Whitworth fell to Otterbein 3-1 in the morning, and suffered a 3-1 loss to Emory in the afternoon. The Bucs came back and finished the tournament with a 3-0 win over Oglethorpe, finishing the weekend 2-3. Whitworth is now 6-3 this season.
Otterbein pulled out a hard fought win in the morning match, 26-24, 25-22, 20-25, 27-25. Each set went down to the wire and the Pirates had a good chance to force the match into a fifth stanza. Lauren Budde and Jessica Schmautz each contributed 13 kills, with the help of 46 assists from Erin White. Addy Woolery came off of the bench for 18 digs, while Iris Tikhonov was in on six blocks. Otterbein advanced to a 4-4 overall record.
Seventh-ranked Emory (7-1) pulled out a similar tough win over the Pirates in the second match, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20, 26-24. Whitworth had another chance to push a 2017 NCAA Division III tournament team to a fifth set. Schmautz had 16 kills and Budde had 11 for the Bucs, while Laina Damon added 15 digs.
Whitworth dominated its final game of the weekend against winless Oglethorpe University, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17. A season-high .350 team hitting percentage and 11 more assists than the Petrels led the Bucs to their shutout victory. Jessica Schmautz again led the Bucs with 15 kills and 13 digs, with Emiko Kahler adding 7 kills.
The Pirates will return to the Whitworth Fieldhouse this weekend to begin conference play. They will play Willamette at 7:00 pm Friday evening and Lewis and Clark the next day at 6:00 pm.