Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team jumpstarted Homecoming Friday night inside of the Graham Athletic Center sweeping Occidental College 25-18, 25-11, 25-17.
With the win the Poets improve to 14-8, 7-3 SCIAC and extend their winning streak to seven in a row as they currently sit in 2nd place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Standings.
The Purple & Gold are playing some strong volleyball outscoring opponents 18-1 over their last six matches. Whittier hit .230 on the night led by freshman Katelyn Popoff (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) who finished with 13 kills on 23 attempts for a .478 hitting percentage. She also added seven digs and two block assists. Senior Makenzie Thieme (Corona, Calif.) reached double figures once again posting a double double of 10 kills and 12 digs and Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) registered a four kill, three block assist effort.
Occidental was held to a .009 hitting percentage and nobody reached double figures as the Poets rolled to the clean sweep. They went 2-0 against the Tigers on the season and outscored them 6-1.
The opening frame went back and forth with Whittier holding a slight advantage at 15-12. Oxy received a kill from Lauren Duffy but couldn't get much after that as the Poets put together six unanswered to go on top 21-13 before putting the opening set away with kills from Popoff and Aubrey Caires (Gardnerville, NV).
The second set was worse for the Tigers. They fell behind quickly 9-2 and then 19-3 seeing WC roll off runs of five straight and then 10 in a row. Then to secure the second, Thieme would tally two strikes that put Oxy in a 2-0 hole.
Oxy tried to come back in the third holding a 5-4 advantage early then tied up the frame on three different occasions after that but again saw Whittier put together a mini spurt of four straight that swung the momentum, while moving the score to 17-12.
The Tigers pulled within four at 18-14 soon after but again another four straight, which included three Oxy attacking errors would prove the difference as Popoff and Thieme would secure the clean sweep with three final kills.
Whittier has the weekend off and will return to competition with Chapman University this Tuesday, October 16 on the road beginning at 7:00pm.