Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team had a rough Saturday night as they fell in five sets to Pomona-Pitzer on the road 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-6.
For the first time this season the Purple & Gold hit in the negatives in each set with no one reaching double figures. The Poets looked to open up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play a perfect 4-0 but the Sagehens had other ideas.
Despite the struggles offensively the Poets still found themselves leading 2-1 but couldn't close the door as PP battled back to take the 4th and 5th sets. Whittier opened up the first frame leading 17-16 following a 4-0 run. After a quick timeout, the Sagehens then answered with their own spurt rattling off eight of the next nine points that put them in front.
In the second Whittier used a 6-0 run midway through behind a strong serving effort by freshman Kathea Schamblin (Bakersfield, Calif.) moving the score to 16-11. PP tried to get back into it with another three points but the Purple & Gold were able to keep the pressure on with seven of the next ten points to move the score to 23-18. After a service error by PP giving WC a set point, Schamblin then responded with a kill that deadlocked the match at 1-1.
The momentum stayed with Whittier in the third going out on top 7-4. The Sagehens did come back though and took a lead 18-14 but that was the last lead they would have as the Purple & Gold would put together a 7-1 run going back on top 21-19 before ending the set winning four of the final five points thanks to kills from Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA) and Ashley Whittall (Norwalk, Calif.).
Trailing 2-1, the Sagehens didn't let up in the fourth putting together a 5-1 rally to help go on top 14-11. They then put together four unanswered, while capitalizing on three Poet attacking errors that helped level the match at 2-2.
In the decisive set the Sagehen offense kicked into high gear going on an opening 10-2 run, which proved crucial because WC was unable to get back into the match falling in five.
Schamblin led the offense with nine kills and 10 digs. Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) and Whittall combined for 12 kills and 11 digs, both season lows. Camryn Purdom (Moreno Valley, Calif.) also helped the offense up front finishing with 24 assists with a service ace and 14 digs. She also added a kill and two block assists. Haley Petruescu (La Mirada, Calif.) also had a big game in the backrow adding 14 digs with two service aces.
Whittier returns to the court tonight, September 25 when they take on Cal Lutheran University beginning at 7:00pm.