FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Whitworth University opened the 2017 volleyball season with a pair of wins on Friday at the Oregon Trail Classic on the campus of Pacific University. The Pirates defeated Montana-Western 3-1 in the first match and rolled past Schreiner (Texas) 3-0in the second contest.
Things will get much tougher for Whitworth on Saturday when the Pirates play the top two teams from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics Conference in Augsburg University and Gustavus Adolphus College at George Fox University in Newberg.
Match 1: Whitworth 3, Montana-Western 1 (28-26, 25-19, 26-28, 25-12)
Kahler had 14 kills while Cassandra Mendoza added nine kills and 22 digs to lead the Pirates to a four set win. Meiners dished 43 assists in her first start at setter as Whitworth hit .176 in the match. Corinne Bell and Madison Douglas, the two starting middle blockers, also had nine kills each.
The Pirates led from the beginning in the first set, but had to withstand a late Bulldog rally. Whitworth took a 10-6 lead on a kill by Douglas and led 16-11 after Bell's service ace. But Western rallied to tie the match 23-23 and it was 24-24 after a kill by Kelsey Potter. But Kahler answered with a kill for Whitworth and Lauren Budde ended the set with an ace.
Whitworth led from start to finish in the second set, winning on a Bulldog service error. But the Pirates missed out on an opportunity to sweep when they lost a 20-15 lead in the third set.
The final set was all Whitworth as the Bucs ran out to a 13-3 lead after a Kahler kill. The match ended on a Western attack error.
Potter led the Bulldogs with ten kills.
Match 2: Whitworth 3, Schreiner 0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-20)
Bodecker was able to play her entire roster for long stretches of the match as the Pirates rolled to a sweep of the Mountaineers.
No Whitworth player reached double figures in kills. Douglas led the team with six kills, as did Jessica Schmautz off of the bench. Danielle Tang added five kills, while Meiners had four kills and 28 assists. Taylor Wicht led the Bucs with 12 digs.
The Pirates hit .273 in the match and held Schriener to -0.011 thanks in part to 10 team blocks.
Whitworth trailed at no point in the match. The Bucs jumped to an 11-3 lead in the first set, 5-0 in the second frame and 6-1 in the final set.