SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University hit a red-hot .340 as a team in a Northwest Conference volleyball sweep of visiting Whitman College on Wednesday night.
The Pirates improved to 9-4 overall and 3-0 in the NWC with a season-high team hitting percentage in the 25-12, 25-17, 25-15 victory over the Blues (0-9, 0-3). It was Whitworth's home-opening match.
The Bucs jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first set on a block by Iris Tikhonov and Joelle Forbes and extended the lead to 16-6 on Elise Anderson's kill. Whitworth closed the first set with Abby Wolverton's put-away. The Pirates hit .538 in the opening frame with 15 kills and only one error in 26 attacks.
Whitworth pulled away from an early 4-4 tie in the second set with a 9-1 run. Wolverton had three kills and a block during that rally. The Bucs went ahead 18-8 after back-to-back kills by Tikhonov and ended the set on another kill by Wolverton.
Emiko Kahler had seven of her team-high 12 kills in the final game. After Whitman grabbed a 4-3 lead on a kill by Elise Benavides, Whitworth used an 8-1 run to retake control, including three kills by Kahler. Madison Douglas ended the match with a kill.
Kahler added 16 digs for her third double-double in as many conference matches. She hit .355 in the contest. Tikhonov totaled nine kills with a .533 hitting average and was in on six blocks. Wolverton also had nine kills. Saylor Anderson and Joelle Forbes combined to lead the efficient offense with 17 assists apiece.
Benavides led Whitman with 11 kills and Emma Anderson had 21 assists.
Whitworth will return to action on Friday night when the Pirates host Pacific University (9-3 overall, 2-0 NWC) in an important early NWC match.