by Kelsey Segren, Sports Information Assistant
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – The Whitworth Pirates rallied from a first set loss to take the four-set road win over Pacific (Ore.) in Saturday evening's Northwest Conference volleyball match.
The Pirates defeated the Boxers 22-25 25-21 25-19 25-21 in a battle of the top two teams in the NWC standings. Whitworth improves to 17-5 overall and 11-1 in the conference to hold on to first place in the standings. Pacific drops to 16-6, 9-3.
The Boxers took the opening set, hitting .341 as a team. The match featured eleven ties and four lead changes with the Boxers breaking the tie on most occasions. Jordan Zweifel had seven kills in the set.
The Pirates responded by taking an early 5-0 lead to open the second set. The Bucs increased their lead to 9-1 after a kill by Madison Douglas. Pacific made its way back into the game, tying the set at 18-18 after an 8-1 scoring run that included three kills by Zweifel. The teams tied twice more before Whitworth finished on a 4-0 run. Eva Millan closed the set with a pair of service aces.
The Boxers struggled with errors in the fourth set causing them to fall behind early. Back-to-back kills by Kahler gave the Pirates a 10-6 advantage and the momentum continued from there. The Bucs then went on a 5-1 run for the 20-15 lead. The Boxers kept the Pirates in reach, cutting the lead to 22-19 after a service ace from Terina DeFries. However, the Bucs did not let them back in, finishing on a kill by Elise Anderson.
Kahler led the Pirates with 15 kills and 21 digs. Tikhonov hit .321 with 11 kills and Abby Wolverton tallied 10 kills. Douglas added seven kills and was in on five blocks. Saylor Anderson and Joelle Forbes combined for 35 assists.
Zweifel led the Boxers with a match-leading 23 kills. Haley Walz added 27 digs and Shaianne Cambra tallied 49 assists.
Up next, the Pirates return to the Whitworth Fieldhouse for matches against Willamette (Nov. 1) and Linfield (Nov. 2).