NEWBERG, Ore. – Visiting Whitworth rallied in the second and third sets for a 25-17, 25-22, 30-28 win over George Fox University to win its fifth straight Northwest Conference volleyball match on Saturday afternoon at the Wheeler Sports Center.
The Pirates improved to 8-6 overall and 5-1 in the NWC to move into a tie for first place with Pacific (Ore.). Whitworth will host Pacific next Friday at 6:00 pm.
The Pirates controlled the first set from the opening serve. Cassandra Mendoza's kill gave the Bucs a 7-2 lead. The Bruins climbed back to within 9-7 on a kill from Delaney Cruz, but they could never climb back into a tie. Lauren Budde's kill extended the lead to 21-15 and Mendoza's final kill of the set ended it in Whitworth's favor.
Whitworth took a 7-1 lead in the second set on a Bruin attack error. But George Fox stormed back to go up 12-10 on a kill by Laney Search. The Bruins extended the lead to 16-13 and still held a 20-18 advantage after a Pirates' attack error. Whitworth then closed on a 7-2 run to win, sparked by a pair of kills from Emiko Kahler.
George Fox led from the start in the third set, opening a 12-9 advantage on another Cruz kill. The Bruins held the lead at 18-15 and 21-19 before Whitworth staged another rally to take a 22-21 lead on a kill by Mendoza. The teams traded leads four times the rest of the way. GFU led 27-26 following Danyle Dupray's kill when Whitworth finished with a 4-1 flourish to claim the sweep.
Kahler led the Pirates in kills for the second straight night with 12 and also led with 22 digs. Mendoza added 11 kills and Budde finished with eight. Madison Douglas had six kills and was in on four blocks (one solo, three assists). Gracie Meiners handed out 36 assists as Whitworth hit .210 in the match.
Dupray led George Fox (3-6, 2-4) with 10 kills and Cruz added eight.
Whitworth extended its winning streak over George Fox to ten in a row.