Pioneers Hand Pirates First Loss of 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Whitworth's ten-match volleyball winning streak came to an end in three close sets at Lewis & Clark on Friday night. The Pioneers knocked off the 21st-ranked Pirates 27-25, 25-23, 26-24 in a Northwest Conference match.
Whitworth (12-5 overall, 7-1 NWC) could not overcome the absence of senior outside hitter Amanda Grumbach, who had to miss the game with an ankle injury. Kaimi Rocha did what she could for the Bucs with a match-high 16 kills, but no other Whitworth player reached double digits.
Lewis & Clark, meanwhile, got a balanced attack from Margaret Dowling (14 kills), Jennifer Dowdy (14 kills) and Kateleya Milan (11 kills).
Whitworth never found its footing for long in any of the three sets. The Pioneers used a 7-0 run in the first set to turn a 12-8 deficit into a 15-12 lead. L&C led 22-18 when the Pirates rallied to go ahead 24-22 on back to back kills by Abi Hedlund. But the Pioneers held off match point twice and eventually won the set on a kill by Dowling.
L&C jumped to a 17-9 lead in the second set and the Pios were up 20-10 before Whitworth rallied with nine straight points to pull within 20-19. But the Bucs could not quite get over the hump and L&C eventually won the set on a kill by Milan.
Whitworth seemed to find itself coming out of the break, taking a 7-1 lead after back to back errors by L&C. But the Pios outscored the Pirates 7-1 to tie the set. L&C continued to stretch the lead to 19-15, then 22-17 on a Pirate error. But Whitworth rallied to tie the set 24-24 after a kill by Rocha and an L&C error. The Pirate momentum ended there as the Pioneers closed the match with kills by Milan and Dowling.
Whitworth hit .154 as a team. Hedlund added seven kills to Rocha's match-high total. Rocha also led the Bucs with 15 digs. Whitworth struggled at the service line with only two aces and six errors.
L&C hit .129 as a team. Dowling added four blocks to her team lead in kills.
Whitworth will return to Oregon next weekend to take on Pacific (Ore.) and George Fox.