By Alli Kieckbusch– Student writer
Jessica Schmautz pounded a career-high 25 kills to lead Whitworth to a 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17 win over visiting George Fox on Friday night. The Pirates continue to lead the Northwest Conference at 10-1 (16-6 overall). The Bruins drop to 2-9 (8-10).
Whitworth hit a season-high with 63 kills in the win. Schmautz came just short of tying the school record for kills in a four-set match. Kristen Turner had 28 kills in a win over Pacific Lutheran in 2000.
Whitworth opened with 19 kills in the first set. Emiko Kahler had two consecutive kills to tie the game at 10-10, followed by two more from Schmautz. The teams continued to trade points until a 7-2 rally gave Whitworth the set. Schmautz finished the stanza with 8 kills.
The second set was close until Laina Damon's service ace stretched the Pirates' lead to 10-6.
The Bruins scored six points in a row to go up 13-11, but two more kills from Schmautz tied it back up. The Bucs then forced three errors to go ahead 18-16. Erin White's kill gave Whitworth a 22-20 lead, and she forced an error for the final point of the set.
The Pirates gave up a 7-9 lead to the Bruins in stanza three, but Madison Douglas's kill put them ahead 12-11. Lauren Budde pounded one to spread the Bucs' lead to 16-13, and Damon served two consecutive aces to put them ahead 21-17. However, George Fox had 4 kills in an 8-2 run that allowed the Bruins to take the set.
The Pirates jumped on George Fox early in the fourth set, using a 9-0 run to go up 11-3. Douglas had two kills to extend the lead to 20-9, followed by another Schmautz attack. Whitworth handily took the set after a big kill from Budde made it 24-15.
Schmautz hit .467 with only four errors in 45 attacks. Kahler added 14 kills while White dished 53 assists. Damon served four aces and added 15 digs.
Danyle Dupray and Laney Search had 8 kills apiece for the Bruins, and Madison Ross added 16 assists.
Whitworth, one game ahead of PLU in the NWC standings, will return to the Fieldhouse tomorrow night to play Pacific University at 5:00.