Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
Article by: Abby Salmon (Sports Information Intern)
CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Whittier College Volleyball team earned their second clean sweep of the week as they traveled to Pomona-Pitzer to spoil Senior Night for the Sagehens. They were able to finish quickly pulling out the 25-19, 25-20, 25-20 victory.
The previous time these two teams met the Purple & Gold pulled out a five-set victory after leading 2-0. But this time around made quick work of PP improving to 12-14, 7-8 SCIAC. Despite winning four of their last five the Poets have been knocked out of Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament contention.
Whittier was able to distribute the offense to start off the match with kills from Kathea Schamblin (Bakersfield, Calif.), Alaina Rhee (Kent, WA), and Franki Piloto (Ontario, Calif.). Meanwhile, Abby Salmon (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) got things started on the defensive end with the first of the team's 13 blocks for the night. Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.) then got back-to-back kills and was followed by additional kills from Salmon and Schamblin that moved the score to 12-9. An ensuing 5-1 run opened things up giving WC a 16-11 advantage. Whittier used a kill from Rhee and a pair of attacking errors to go in front, a lead they wouldn't give up as they put away the first set with a kill from Piloto.
The Poets kept the momentum going in set two, earning a block from Rhee, an ace from Makayla Wright (Covina, Calif.), and a kill from Schamblin. Despite adding another three kills coming from Katelyn Popoff (Hacienda Heights, Calif.), Schamblin, and Piloto, the Sagehens kept it interesting and were able to answer back to cut the deficit to one at 8-7. A 4-1 run, which included a pair of kills from Schamblin gave Whittier a 14-9 lead. That then stretched to 18-14 and they cruised from there winning five of the final six points capped off with Madisen Diaz (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) picking up a service ace and Rhee with a quick one in front.
It was a tight third set in the early stages but four unanswered by the Purple & Gold, which saw Popoff, Sudbrook-Johnson, and Schamblin go back-to-back-to-back moved the score to 11-8. The margin stayed at three until PP was able to get within two at 22-20. But that's as close as they would get as Schamblin would tally two more kills that secured the sweep.
Schamblin finished with 12 kills with 14 pick-ups in the backrow. She also added two blocks and two block assists. Popoff and Piloto each had eight kills apiece and Sudbrook-Johnson and Salmon each recorded five. Marissa Montoya (Glendora, Calif.) in the backrow finished with 16 digs and Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) added a team high 20 digs, three assists and an ace. Wright had a solid double double with 14 assists and 14 digs and Haley Petruescu (La Mirada, Calif.) added a 15 assist, nine dig effort.
Whittier returns to the court for their final game of 2019 today, Saturday, November 2 when they take on Pomona-Pitzer beginning at 6:00pm.