ATLANTA, Ga. – Colorado College was too dominant offensively for Whitworth University in the opening match of the NCAA Division III volleyball tournament on Friday afternoon at Emory University's Woodruff PE Center.
The 8th-ranked Tigers (31-4) hit over .400 in each set to sweep the Pirates (21-7) 25-13, 25-16, 25-16 and advance to a second round match against either Berry (Ga.) or Maryville (Tenn.) on Saturday afternoon.
Emiko Kahler had 10 kills in her final match for Whitworth and finishes her career with 1,210 kills and the Pirates' all-time leader in that category.
All-American Jordan Mullen had 17 kills and hit .640 for Colorado College.
The Tigers ran away with the opening set by jumping to leads of 6-1, 12-3 and 19-7. The Bucs got within 21-13 after a kill by Iris Tikhonov and Mullen's only attack error of the match. But CC got the final four points of the set.
Whitworth hung with the Tigers for the first half of the second set, pulling within 11-10 on Kahler's kill. But CC responded with a 9-2 run to open a 20-12 lead on one of Mullen's kills. A Madison Douglas kill made it 24-16, but Meaghan Hohman ended the set with a kill for the Tigers.
The Pirates took their only leads of the match in the third set. Consecutive kills by Joelle Forbes and Tikhonov gave Whitworth a 6-3 lead. The Tigers answered with a 5-0 run for an 8-6 lead. Whitworth tied the set 9-9 on a Douglas kill. The Pirates were still within 15-14 after Kahler's kill before CC went on an 8-1 run to pull away. Kahler's final kill of her career pulled Whitworth within 23-16 before the Tigers scored the final two points to end the match.
Kahler hit .381 and added seven digs. No other Whitworth player had more than five kills in the match. Forbes and Saylor Anderson combined for 25 assists as the Pirates hit .158 as a team.
Mullen was the only Tiger in double figures in kills. Georgia Mullins added eight kills and hit .471. CC had 47 kills and only five errors in the match.
Kahler, Tikhonov, Douglas and Danielle Tang all played their final match as Whitworth Pirates.