COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Whitworth knocked off one power, but could not make it two wins on Friday at the Pikes Peak Challenge at Colorado College. The Pirates defeated Birmingham Southern in four sets, but fell to Transylvania in four.
Both of Friday's opponents are listed with "others receiving votes" in the latest AVCA Division III Top 25 poll. The Pirates will take on 7th-ranked Colorado College on Saturday and a win would move Whitworth into the tournament's championship match.
The Pirates defeated BSC 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 28-26 to hand the Panthers (6-1) their first loss of the season. After dropping a hard-fought first set, Whitworth used an 11-0 run to open a 13-4 lead in the second frame. BSC came back to within 15-13, but the Pirates held onto the lead to even the match.
Whitworth fell behind 6-0 in the third set but came from behind to eventually grab a 15-14 lead. The teams traded points until the Pirates pulled out the two-point win on a bad Panther set.
Trailing 22-16 in the fourth set, Whitworth rallied to put the match away. The Pirates scored six straight to tie the set 22-22. The teams traded points until Whitworth scored the final two for the 28-26 victory.
Emiko Kahler pounded 25 kills with a .319 hitting percentage. She added four service aces and a pair of block assists for 30 points. Abby Wolverton added 11 kills, while Iris Tikhonov and Madison Douglas were each in on six blocks.
Whitworth won the first set against Transylvania (8-2), but could not sustain the momentum in a 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 setback to the Pioneers. Kahler had 17 kills and Wolverton had 16 kills for the Bucs. Tikhonov had five more block assists. Ellie Stigger had 18 kills (.405) and had seven block assists for Transy.
After the teams traded wins in the first two games, the Pioneers took control in the third set with a 7-0 run to open an 18-11 lead.
Trailing 24-21 in the fourth set, Whitworth got within 24-23 on a kill by Danielle Tang before a Transy kill ended the match.