Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
GEORGETOWN, TX – The Whittier College Volleyball team got their 2019 season underway traveling to Texas to the Southwestern University Volleyball Fall Invitational.
On Day 1 action the Poets fell unlucky dropping a tight five-setter to Whitworth University before being swept by host Southwestern.
Whitworth (L, 25-20, 17-25, 15-25, 25-21, 15-12)
After dropping the opening set the Purple & Gold rallied to take the next two putting the Pirates in an early hole. But they couldn't finish it as the Bucs would battle to take the fourth and decisive fifth to steal the come from behind victory.
Katelyn Popoff (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) led WC with 12 kills on 27 attempts as she hit .444. Marissa Montoya (Glendora, Calif.) had her breakout game of her career posting a double-digit effort in kills (10) and digs (23). She also added three assists and an ace. Southpaw Aubrey Caires (Gardnerville, NV) added eight kills and Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA) and Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) each put up six strikes.
Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) in the backrow finished with 16 digs and Haley Petruescu (La Mirada, Calif.) with 13. Serena Alvarez (La Habra, Calif.) led the point with 21 assists and six digs and Makayla Wright (Covina, Calif.) with 16 and five.
Southwestern (L, 25-21, 25-13, 25-12)
It was tough to get a footing in the nightcap as Whittier looked to avenge their loss to the Pirates from the opening round of the Div. III National Championships back in 2017. This time around the Poets couldn't get it going offensively as they hit .000 with Franki Piloto (Ontario, Calif.) leading the charge with four kills.
Wright added 13 assists and Engle with 13 digs. The opening set looked promising for the Poets as they fell 25-21 but after that they had a pair of negative hitting frames allowing Southwestern to come away with the sweep.
Whittier returns to the court today, Saturday, August 31 as they take on Carthage and Hardin-Simmons.