Whitman College Women's Volleyball
2002 Fall Season Highlights

Tuesday, Sept. 3

Whitman Thumps
Eastern Oregon
30-18, 30-23, 30-25

The women's volleyball team opened its season in impressive fashion Tuesday night, rolling over Eastern Oregon University in three games in Sherwood Center.

"It was obviously a good start to our season," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "Our ball control and serving were very good."

As a team, the Missionaries hit .302 with just 13 attack errors. "I don't think we came close to hitting .302 the past few seasons," Snider said. "This was a major improvement for us tonight."

Juniors Jill Huber and Denise Kirstein sparked the offense with 11 kills apiece. Huber hit .458 while Kirstein was close behind at .429. Megan Kanaga added six kills, hitting .333.

"Jill has always hit for a high percentage in the middle," Snider said. "That gives us a strong balance when Denise and Megan hit for a high percentage from the outside."

Whitman's lofty kill rate came courtesy of new setter Erin Wade, who collected 33 assists in her first game as a Missionary.

"Erin did a super job," Snider said. "I was pleased with her composure. She turned some tough passes into good sets. She made good choices and smart plays.

Wade, who also had five kills while hitting .571, is a junior who used just one season of her athletic eligibility at Yakima Valley Community College.

Kirstein paced the defense with 13 digs. Huber had eight, Elly Smith five and Wade four.

The Missionaries took charge early in each of the three games. In the opening contest, they held leads of 10-3 and 20-12 before coasting home. In game two, Whitman jumped to a 27-13 cushion before the Mountaineers made a late and eventually futile run. The Missionaries hit .429 as a team in the second game, committing just one attack error.

Eastern Oregon threatened to turn the tables early in game three, slipping in front 4-1. But Whitman responded with six straight points and maintained a lead the rest of the way.

Whitman travels to Whittier College in southern California this Friday and Saturday to play a series of four tournament matches.

Box score

Friday, Sept. 6

Whittier Invitational

Whitman Subdues
30-24, 24-30, 30-25, 30-25

With Jill Huber combining 18 kills with seven blocks and six digs, the women's volleyball team ran its early season record to 2-0 with a 3-1 victory over Pomono-Pitzer at the Whittier College Invitational.

The two teams split the first two games by identical 30-24 scores. The Missionaries cruised to victory with 30-25 wins in the next two games.

"We didn't play quite as smoothly as we did Tuesday night, but we were also challenged more in today's match," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "I like the fact that we struggled a little in that second game but still found a way to come back and win. That shows this group is continuing to mature as a team. We were challenged and we responded."

Megan Kanaga, Whitman's only senior, added 11 kills, seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore Lyndsay Buckingham contributed seven kills, five digs and what Snider called "excellent serving at some critical times in the match."

Missionary setter Erin Wade collected 38 assists, and Denise Kirstein chipped in with six kills and seven digs. Liz Nelson led the team with eight digs, while Elly Smith added seven more.

Whitman plays a second match later today against Whittier, the host school. The Missionaries play two more tourney matches on Saturday, squaring off against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Chapman.

Box score

Friday, Sept. 6

Whittier Invitational

Whitman Blanks
Tournament Host
30-24, 30-15, 30-25

Playing its best match of the young season, the Whitman women's volleyball team dispatched the host school in three games as the Whittier College Invitational continued Friday evening. The Missionaries won 30-24, 30-15, 30-25 to improve to 3-0 in the won-loss column.

Senior Megan Kanaga crushed 14 kills against just three errors in 31 attempts to spark Whitman's offense. "Megan was the dominant player in the match," coach Dean Snider said. "She was very dominant."

Jill Huber added 10 kills against one error in 24 attempts. Her stat line also included five blocks and four digs. "It was just another good all-around game for Jill," Snider said. "She's playing very solid ball to start the season."

Erin Wade triggered the offense with 37 assists. "That's outstanding for three games," Snider said. "But she also served eight straight points for us in the third game at a time when we were trailing. That allowed us to get the lead back and finish off the match."

The three-game victory wasn't as easy as it might appear, Snider added. "Whittier is a very strong defensive team. They were digging up everything. It was a good test for us. We stayed persistent with our attack and didn't rush things. We stayed with what we knew would work."

Liz Nelson bolstered Whitman's defense with 13 digs. Denise Kirstein was a force with nine kills, nine digs and two service aces. Elly Smith had eight digs and Wade six.

"This (3-0) has been a good way to start the season, but we need to keep working and improving," Snider said. "The two teams we play Saturday will probably give us a stronger test. We'll need to raise our level of play another notch."

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 7

Whittier Invitational

Whitman Falls
in Four Games
30-32, 35-33, 24-30, 24-30

After winning a close first game, the Whitman women's volleyball team failed capitalize on a 28-22 lead in game two and eventually dropped a four-game decision to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Saturday morning at the Whittier College Invitational.

It was Whitman's first loss of the season after opening with three straight victories, including two in Friday's first day of the Whittier tourney. The Missionaries play Chapman University later today to close out its tournament action.

Whitman squeezed out a 32-30 victory in game one against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Missionaries were poised to take control of the match after moving into a 28-22 lead in game two.

"That was the critical turning point in the match," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "We just could not get those final two points. They came back to tie us and to eventually win the game. After that, we seemed to lose some of our composure."

"We battled but our passing broke down at times during critical points in the match," Snider said. "They passed better than we did, which was probably the difference in the match."

Denise Kirstein hit .365 with 20 kills to spearhead the offense. Megan Kanaga had 11 kills with three service aces, and Jill Huber added 10 kills and four blocks.

"Our attack wasn't very balanced due to our poor passing," Snider said. "It was would have been nice to have had Jill play a larger role on the offense, but that's what happens when the passing breaks down."

Elly Smith with 20 digs from the back row keyed Whitman's defense. Erin Wade finished with 49 assists.

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 7

Whittier Invitational

Whitman Bounces Back,
Downs Chapman in Four
22-30, 30-17, 30-21, 30-19

Bouncing back from a disappointing loss earlier in the day, the Whitman women's volleyball team took a four-game decision from Chapman University Saturday evening as the Whittier College Invitational came to a close.

The Missionaries finished with a 3-1 tournament mark, raising their early season record to 4-1.

"It took us a little longer than Chapman to get into a groove," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "I think we were still feeling the monkey on our back after losing earlier in the day when we probably shouldn't have."

With setter Erin Wade handing out 45 assists, the Missionaries fielded a balanced attack led by Megan Kanaga with 15 kills, Denise Kirstein with 14 and Jill Huber with 10. Lori Williams added five kills with just one error in nine attempts, and Mandee Romero had four kills in seven attempts with no errors.

"Erin set a very good match for us," Snider said. "Elly Smith had 11 digs and had a very good tournament for us defensively. Liz Nelson did a great job passing from the back, and she had eight digs, many of them at critical points in the match."

Huber, who had three aces and three digs, collected nine of Whitman's 16 blocks. Kirstein had four blocks and Kanaga three.

"We basically won the second game with our blocking," Snider said.

"All in all, this was a good tournament for us," Snider added. "We started to gel and gain some confidence."

Box score

Thursday, Sept. 12

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

LCSC in Three
Over Missionaries
30-27, 31-29, 30-19

Capitalizing on narrow victories in games one and two, Lewis-Clark State slipped past Whitman in three games as the Holiday Inn Express Invitational got underway Thursday night in Sherwood Center. The scores were 30-27, 31-29 and 30-19.

The Missionaries dropped to 4-2 on the season, while the Warriors improved to 4-5.

LCSC jumped in front 11-5 early in the opening game. Whitman rallied to knot the score at 12, 13, 18, 19 and 21. The visitors pulled ahead 28-24 before closing out the game.

The match turned in a highly competitive second game that featured 12 ties and six lead changes. After both teams reeled off six straight points early in the match, the Missionaries led 9-8 and then forged in front 14-9 on a kill by Denise Kirstein and an ace by Erin Wade.

The Warriors bounced back, pulling even at 16 and later scoring five consecutive points to lead 21-18. Whitman countered with four consecutive points, and the two sides deadlocked at 22, 23, 24, 26 and again at 28. The Missionaries inched in front at 29-28 but failed to convert a free ball for the game. LCSC scored the next three points to win 31-29.

"We had the second game in hand," Whitman coach Dean Snider. "What was disappointing is that we lost composure in the third game. The difference between the two teams was very minor prior prior to that. I'd much rather see us respond to the challenge, but that's not what happened tonight."

Denise Kirstein led Whitman with 11 kills and 14 digs. Jill Huber added nine kills and four blocks, while Megan Kanaga also had four blocks.

"We blocked fairly well," Snider said. "Other than that, we played okay but didn't really come together as a team.

Liz Nelson had 11 digs for the Missionaries, while Erin Wade handed out 26 assists.

One positive point, Snider said, was that "we didn't play very well, and yet we were right there in the game with a very good team."

LCSC has been one of the nation's top 10 NAIA volleyball teams for much of the last decade. The Warriors won their conference title last year and finished with a 27-5 record overall.

LCSC's attack was a balanced one against Whitman. Four players notched eight or nine kills.

The tournament continues with three matches on Friday and five more on Saturday. Whitman plays 7 p.m. matches both nights as well as a 2 p.m. match on Saturday.

Other teams in the tournament are Whitworth College, Pacific University and Canada's Trinity Western University.

Box score

Friday, Sept. 13

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

Trinity Western
Tops Pacific
30-17, 30-21, 30-8

Box score

Friday, Sept. 13

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

LCSC Beats
Trinity in Five
26-30, 30-28, 27-30, 30-27, 15-3

Box score

Friday, Sept. 13

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

Whitworth Outlasts
Missionaries in Four
31-33, 30-28, 30-22, 30-18

Defending Northwest Conference co-champion Whitworth rallied from a first game loss to seize a hard-won, four-game victory over Whitman Friday night as the Holiday Express Inn Invitational continued in Sherwood Center.

After winning the opening game 33-31, the Missionaries came close to taking the second game as well. But with the two teams deadlocked at 28, Whitworth reeled off two straight points to even the match at one game apiece.

The Pirates broke in front 15-8 to start game three. Whitman closed the gap to 25-22 before the visitors tallied the final five points for a 30-22 win.

Whitworth dominated the fourth game, stringing together nine consecutive points en route to a 17-5 lead. Whitman got no closer than nine points as the Pirates closed out the match with a 30-18 victory.

The match counted as the NWC opener for both schools. Whitworth, the preseason favorite for this year's conference title, improved to 8-1 on the season. Whitman dropped to 4-3.

"Whitworth is picked to win the conference again this year, and they've got a good shot at it," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "They have a few more weapons than we do, but we played right with them. We gave them a good scare, and had we won that second game, it would have been an entirely different match."

The two teams traded points early in the first game, which generated 10 tie scores by the time the scoreboard read 11-11. Whitworth took charge with seven consecutive points, but a seven-point run by the Missionaries a few minutes later put Whitman on top 22-21.

Eight more tie scores followed before Whitman finished off its 33-31 triumph.

Whitworth led by as many as seven points, 16-9, midway through game two. Whitman rallied again, moving in front 19-18. The Pirates regained a cushion at 27-23, only to see the Missionaries knot the score at 28-28. This time, however, it was Whitworth scoring two straight points to seal the win.

Jill Huber sparked Whitman with a match-high 23 kills, hitting .439 in the process. She also had eight digs, three blocks and two service aces. "Jill played really well tonight," Snider said. "She was good, very good."

Denise Kirstein and Megan Kanaga added eight kills apiece for Whitman. Liz Nelson with 19 digs and Kirstein with 13 keyed the defense. Elly Smith had eight digs, as did setter Erin Wade, who collected 41 assists.

"The team as a whole played very well tonight, much better than last night (against Lewis-Clark State)," Snider said. "It's always nice to bounce back from a poor outing and play well as a team. Hopefully we can take some momentum from tonight into tomorrow's matches."

Julie Weatherred, last year's NWC Player of the Year, led Whitworth with 17 kills and seven digs. Michelle Etter had 15 kills for the Pirates. Whitworth got 25 assists from Nicole Weedman and 20 more from Bekah Horner.

The tournament concludes Saturday with Whitman playing Pacific at 11 a.m. and Trinity Western at 7 p.m. Whitworth plays Lewis-Clark State at 9 a.m. and Trinity Western at 2 p.m.

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 14

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

Whitman Over Pacific
in Three Games
30-14, 30-28, 30-17

Jill Huber, Denise Kirstein and Megan Kanaga combined for 37 kills to power the Whitman women's volleyball team past Pacific Saturday morning as the Holiday Inn Express Invitational continued in Sherwood Center.

The Missionaries won the opening game 30-18, survived a 30-28 scare in game two, and then closed out the match with a 30-17 win in the third game. Whitman improved to 5-3 on the season. Pacific dropped to 0-5.

Shrugging off Whitman's easy win in the first game, Pacific jumped in front 5-0 to start the second. After the Missionaries countered with five straight points, the two teams traded points en route to a 10-10 deadlock. The Boxers regained their advantage, leading by as many four points at 20-16.

Whitman pulled even at 27 and 28 on kills by Kirstein and sophomore Lyndsay Buckingham. Two Pacific attack errors handed the winning points to the Missionaries.

Huber hit .464 while slamming a match-high 15 kills. She also had eight digs, four services aces and three blocks. Kirstein added 12 kills, hitting .333, along with 12 digs. Kanaga hit .381 and had 10 kills, five digs and three blocks.

Erin Wade distributed 34 assists for the Missionaries. Liz Nelson had eight digs, and Laura Williams served four aces.

Rachel Larson paced Pacific with 13 kills and 11 digs. The Boxers play their final tournament match at 5 p.m. against Lewis-Clark State. Whitman has the tourney's last match, a 7 p.m. encounter with Trinity Western.

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 14

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

Whitworth Downs
Trinity Western
in Five Games
27-30, 30-25, 30-25, 25-30, 15-12

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 14

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

LCSC Rolls
Over Pacific
30-25, 25-30, 15-12

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 14

Whitman's Holiday Inn Express Invitational

Trinity Too Much
for Missionaries
30-25, 30-26, 30-26

Tall and talented, Trinity Western was too much for the Whitman women's volleyball to handle Saturday night in the final match of the Holiday Inn Express Invitational in Sherwood Center. The Spartans, a Canadian collegiate team from Langley, B.C., overcame the Missionaries in three close games, 30-25, 30-26, 30- 26.

Trinity's Lies Verhoeff, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker, teamed with 6-foot-1 Rhonda Schmuland to create a wall at the net for the Spartans. Verhoeff also had 10 kills and five of her team's 13 service aces.

"This is very early in its season, but Trinity is a very good team that got much better in just the two days they were here," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "I liked the way we played against them. We didn't give away too many points. Trinity also did a great job with their jump serves."

Snider was pleased with the play of Missionary setter Erin Wade, who finished with 30 assists. Despite its heighth at the net, Trinity managed just five blocks, a statistic Snider attributed to Wade's distribution of the ball.

"Erin made some really good sets," he said. "She kept their blockers moving, which created some splits and one-on-ones for us. Erin in her first season with us is progressing very nicely. She's mentally tough, and when you give her suggestions, she starts working on them immediately."

With Trinity clogging up the middle, outside hitter Megan Kanaga led the Missionary offense with 10 kills. Denise Kirstein had eight and Jill Huber seven. Elly Smith had 11 digs, while Kirstein had eight.

"Going one-and-three in the tournament wasn't what we wanted, but we lost to three very good teams," Snider said. "What we're trying to do is elevate our play for the bulk of the conference season, which starts next week. We responded pretty well during the tournament to the high level of competition."

Trinity's Verhoeff was named to the all-tournament team, along with Whitman's Huber, Whitworth's Julie Weatherred, Pacific's Rachel Larson and Lewis-Clark State's Amy Flaig. Michelle Etter of Whitworth was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

Saturday, Sept. 21

Slow Start
Dooms Whitman
30-23, 30-22, 26-30, 30-26

A slow start doomed the Whitman women's volleyball team to a four-game loss at Willamette Saturday afternoon. The Bearcats were victorious by scores of 30-23, 30-22, 26-30, 30-26.

Willamette evened its Northwest Conference slate at 1-1 and is 4-6 on the season. Whitman is 5-4 overall but has lost its first two conference matches on the road.

"We got off the bus to a very slow start," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "We pretty much spotted them games one and two. We didn't play very well in either one of those games, which was disappointing."

"I was quite pleased, though, with the way we came back and played in games three and four," Snider added. "We won game three, and we played right them in game four. They got a couple of lucky breaks at the end of game four and closed us out."

The primary difference in the match was that Willamette played well from start to finish, Snider said. "Willamette is a tough team. To beat them when they come to our gym, we'll need to play better for the entire match."

Jill Huber led the Missionaries with 13 kills, 12 digs and six blocks. Elly Smith, Liz Nelson and Denise Kirstein had 13 digs apiece. Kirstein had nine kills, while Lyndsay Buckingham had eight. Megan Kanaga and Mandee Romero each had seven kills. Erin Wade finished with 39 assists, eight digs and three service aces.

"We were without Laura Williams today, so we moved Megan Kanaga into the middle to replace her," Snider said. "Megan did a good job."

As a team, Willamette totaled 78 digs, 11 more than Whitman. "Willamette played great defense," Snider said. "They also played much better ball control than we did."

Whitman plays a non-conference match Wednesday at Eastern Oregon. The Missionaries host their first conference matches next Friday and Saturday.

Box score

Wednesday, Sept. 25

Missionaries Fall
in Five at EOU
32-30, 25-30, 30-26, 16-30, 21-19

Losing two games by the two-point minimum, the Whitman women's volleyball team dropped a five-game marathon at Eastern Oregon University Wednesday night in a match that lasted two hours and 17 minutes.

The Mountaineers won the opening game 32-30 and eventually closed out the victory with a 21-19 triumph in game five. In between, Whitman won game two 30-25 and game four 30-16, while Eastern Oregon was a 30-26 winner in the third game.

The non-conference loss drops Whitman to 5-5 on the season.

"We could have had this match, but we didn't play very well in games one and three," Whitman coach Dean Snier said. "What I liked was the way we played in the last two games. We played with a lot of character and intensity at the end, and that's the way we need to play from start to finish. That's what we need to do if we want to be a good volleyball team."

In game five, which normally ends at 15, Whitman found itself on the short end of a 14-10 score. But the Missionaries battled back to knot the score at 14, 15, 16 and 17. Whitman moved in front 18-17, but the Mountaineers scored four of the next five points to seal the win.

"There were some things we did really well," Snider said. "We had 110 digs and 12 service aces."

Senior Megan Kanaga slammed a match-high 21 kills to spark the Missionary offense. Juniors Jill Huber and Denise Kirstein added 16 kills apiece. Erin Wade handed out 49 assists.

Kirstein and Liz Nelson collected 20 digs each. Huber had 19, Kanaga 18, Elly Smith 17, and Wade 14.

Whitman returns home this weekend to play a pair of Northwest Conference matches. Puget Sound visits Sherwood Center at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by Pacific Lutheran at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Box score

Friday, Sept. 27

UPS Survives
Scare from Whitman
30-14, 26-30, 30-26, 30-28

Narrowly avoiding the pressure of a fifth game, Puget Sound slipped past Whitman 30-28 in game four to finish off a 3-1 Northwest Conference victory Friday night in Sherwood Center.

The Loggers, ranked No. 10 nationally, improved to 12-3 on the season and 3-0 in NWC play. The Missionaries dropped to 5-6 and 0-3.

After Puget Sound breezed to a 30-14 win in game one, Whitman bounced back for a 30-26 victory in game two. The Loggers took the third game by the same 30-26 score.

Game four was close throughout, producing 11 tie scores before either team reached the 20-point mark. Puget Sound eased in front 24-20, but the Missionaries pulled even at 24, 27 and again at 28. With a possible game five looming, the Loggers tallied two quick points to ice the game and match.

"We played good ball and showed good mental toughness, but we shouldn't be satisfied with just playing well," Whitman coach Dean Snider. "We had opportunities to win game four and force game five, but we didn't quite pull it out. We didn't make the plays when we needed them most."

Whitman's offense produced three players in double digit kills. Junior Denise Kirstein paced the Missionaries with 17 kills and 14 digs. Senior Megan Kanaga added 16 kills and eight digs, while junior Jill Huber had 11 kills and 12 digs.

"The balanced attack tonight was great," Snider said. "Denise played a great match, leading us in both kills and digs."

Adriane Qugendal led Puget Sound with 17 kills and 19 digs. Karen Elmgren chipped in with 14 kills and 17 digs.

The Loggers hit .229 as a team and finished with 56 kills, just two more than the Missionaries, who hit .133. Puget Sound collected a total of 71 digs, six more than Whitman.

"We didn't have our best service game," Snider added. Whitman managed just six aces against 11 errors. Puget Sound had 12 service errors but 11 aces.

Erin Wade, a sophomore, keyed Whitman's offense with 39 assists. She also had nine digs.

Sophomore Lyndsay Buckingham had a solid game off the bench, contributing five kills while hitting .357. Juniors Liz Nelson and Ely Smith 10 and nine digs, respectively.

Whitman hosts Pacific Lutheran at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Lutes lost in three games Friday night at Whitworth.

Box score

Saturday, Sept. 28

PLU Rallies Past
Whitman in Five
17-30, 24-30, 32-30, 31-29, 15-11

After losing games one and two, Pacific Lutheran rallied past the Whitman women's volleyball team 3-2 Saturday afternoon in a Northwest Conference match in Sherwood Center.

The Lutes improved their record to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in NWC play. Whitman dropped its fifth straight match to fall to 5-7 overall and 0-4 in conference.

The Missionaries won the first two games, 30-17 and 30-24, but lost games three and four by two points each. After letting a match point slip away in game three, the Missionaries lost the game 32-30 and then dropped game four 31-29. With momentum on its side, PLU controled the fifth and final game, winning 15-11.

"It's tough to lose in five games twice in one week," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. The Missionaries lost a five game marathon on Wednesday at Eastern Oregon. "We didn't play badly in the final three games, they simply played better."

"We had some really solid play tonight," Snider said. "Megan Kanaga and Denise Kirstein played very well. Denise played very strong defensively and had a lot of kills."

Kirstein led the Missionaries with 19 kills while hitting .234. Kanaga and Jill Huber added 18 and 13 kills, respectively. Erin Wade contributed 52 assists in the five-game match.

PLU's Stephanie Turner had a match high 24 kills while hitting .500. As a team, the Lutes had 63 kills and 79 digs.

The Missionaries managed 82 digs during the match, along with 68 kills. Huber led the team with 19 digs.

Whitman travels to George Fox and Lewis and Clark next weekend for a pair of Northwest Conference matches.

Box score

Friday, Oct. 4

George Fox Downs Whitman
30-15, 30-18, 30-27

Battling a tough defense that recorded 13 blocks and 77 digs, the Whitman women's volleyball team fell to George Fox 3-0 Friday night in a Northwest Conference bout in Newberg, Ore. The scores were 30-15, 30-18 and 30-27.

After falling quickly in the first two games, the Missionaries mustered a much better fight in the third game before losing by a three-point margin.

George Fox improved its record to 12-2 overall and 4-1 in conference. The Bruins have lost just seven games in 14 matches. The Missionaries continued to struggle, dropping their sixth straight match. Whitman is 5-8 overall and 0-5 in conference play.

Whitman fell behind 8-1 in the opening game after NWC blocks leader Shelly Schultens recorded four solo blocks. Schultens finished the match with eight blocks, leading a defense that held the Missionaries to a .026 hitting percentage. Whitman opened game two with a 2-1 lead, only to watch the Bruins take charge with a 10-1 run.

The Missionaries fought hard in game three, rallying from 24-18 to cut the gap to 29-27. Junior Jill Huber led the comeback with three blocks and a pair of kills. Denise Kirstein added two kills to the rally. An attack error cut short Whitman's comeback bid.

Kirstein led Whitman with 13 kills and the same number of digs. The Missionaries managed 39 kills on the evening but were plagued with attack errors, recording 35. Erin Wade had 33 assists, while Megan Kanaga added 11 digs. Liz Nelson and Elly Smith contributed 10 digs each.

Whitman plays its next match at Lewis & Clark College at 7 p.m. Saturday. Lewis & Clark lost 3-0 to Whitworth Friday night and has yet to win a conference match.

Box score

Saturday, Oct. 5

Missionaries Win in Four
31-33, 30-11, 30-26, 30-20

Overcoming a 33-31 loss in the opening game, the Whitman women's volleyball team knocked off Lewis & Clark in four games Saturday night in Portland, Ore. The Missionares won the next three games by scores of 30-11, 30-26 and 30-20.

Whitman raised its record to 6-8 overall and 1-5 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark dropped to 3-11, 0-6.

After dropping game one, Whitman took control of the match with a dominating win in game two. The Missionaries needed just 11 kills in the game while hitting .358 and not committing a single attack error.

Whitman recorded 95 digs on the night, its season-high total for a four-game match. Elly Smith led a balanced defense with 17 digs. Liz Nelson and Denise Kirstein each had 16 digs, while Jill Huber and Erin Wade added 15 apiece.

Huber and Kirstein led the team in kills, each hammering 15. Huber hit .278 for the match. Megan Kanaga added 13 kills, and Wade finished with 44 assists.

The Missionaries totalled nine team blocks and 56 kills while hitting .158.

Whitman returns to Sherwood Center next Friday and Saturday for a pair of NWC matches. Pacific comes to Walla Walla on Friday for a 7 p.m. showdown. The Boxers are 1-10 on the year and 1-4 in NWC play. The Missionaries play Linfield on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Box score

Friday, Oct. 11

Whitman Blanks Pacific 3-0
30-16, 30-9, 30-22

The Whitman women's volleyball team posted a .326 team hitting percentage as they cruised to a three game victory over Pacific Friday night in Sherwood Center. The Missionaries won 30-16, 30-9, 30-22 and notched their second conference victory of the season. Whitman improved to 7-8 overall, 2-5 in Northwest Conference play. Pacific fell to 1-12, 1-6.

"It's nice to get another conference win," coach Dean Snider said. "We needed to come out tonight with intensity, regardless of the team we were playing, and we did that."

Game one was tied at seven points apiece before the Missionaries went on a 13-2 run. Jill Huber sparked the rally with six kills,and Whitman went on the win the game 30-16.

The Missionaries easily won game two, 30-9, while hitting .500 as a team and committing just one attack error. Pacific managed 22 points in the final game, but was plagued by hitting errors all night.

"We did what we needed to do tonight," Snider added. "Jill had a monster night and got her game back on track. Our three big hitters, Megan Kanaga, Denise Kirstein, and Huber were all in double figures in kills, which is where we need them in every match to be successful."

Huber led Whitman's attack, hitting .478 while recording 14 kills, Kirstein .393 with 12 kills and Kanaga .500 with 10 kills. Erin Wade dished out 34 assists on the evening.

The Missionaries continue their homestand Saturday at 2 p.m. versus Linfield. The Wildcats are 9-3 overall and 4-3 in NWC.

Box score

Saturday, Oct. 12

Missionaries Prevail
Over Wildcats in Five
30-26, 19-30, 30-32, 30-18, 15-9

Gaining momentum late in the match, the Whitman women's volleyball team downed Linfield in five games Saturday afternoon in Sherwood Center. The scores were 30-26, 19-30, 30-32, 30-18, 15-9.

"It was tough to drop game two after winning game one," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "We made too many mistakes and let them back in, but we responded in games three, four and five."

Trailing 7-3 in game four, Whitman rallied for 15 unanswered points to take an 18-7 lead. Jill Huber sparked the comeback with four serving aces. Whitman opened game five with a 3-0 lead and never looked back, winning 15-9.

It was Whitman's third straight Northwest Conference victory. The Missionaries are 8-8 overall, 3-5 in conference. Losing its second straight match, Linfield dropped to 9-4 and 4-4.

"This was a great win for our team," Snider said. "We didn't play great, but we found a way to win the match. It shows the level we are capable of playing at, beating the sixth-ranked team in the region."

Huber led the Whitman attack with 28 kills while hitting .404. "Jill played outstanding," Snider added. "She led the team from the front row, from the back row, and serving. She certainly was the difference tonight." Huber finished with five serving aces, 11 digs, and three blocks.

Denise Kirstein added 16 kills on the evening, Megan Kanaga 11.

Defensively, Whitman totalled 90 digs. Kirstein led the way with 20 digs as five Missionaries found their way into double digits. Liz Nelson and Erin Wade had 17, and Elly Smith 15. Wade also dished out 58 assists.

The Missionaries finished the first half of conference play 3-5, and Snider noted, "We think we can improve on that in the second half." Whitman travels to Spokane on Wedesday to face Whitworth, which has yet to lose to an NWC opponent. The match begins at 6 p.m.

The Missionaries host Willamette at 2 p.m. next Saturday.

Box score

Wednesday, Oct. 16

Whitman Falls
To Whitworth
30-22, 33-31, 30-19

Whitworth, ranked No. 8 nationally in the NCAA Div. III ranks, held off a determined Whitman women's volleyball team 30-22, 33-31, 30-19 Wednesday night in a Northwest Conference match in Spokane.

Whitworth is a "strong team that plays with a lot of confidence." Whitman coach Dean Snider said. The Pirates, winners of 15 straight matches, are 17-1 on the season, including an unblemished 9-0 mark in conference play. Whitman fell to 8-9 overall and 3-6 in NWC.

"We played them really well tonight," Snider said. "We battled in both games one and two."

Game one was close most of the way. Whitworth opened up with a 4-0 lead, but the Missionaries battled back to tie at 5-5. Whitman moved in front 14-10, but the Pirates scored four straight to tie the game 14-14. The two sides deadlocked again at 21-21 before Whitworth closed out the game with a 9-1 run.

The Missionaries played with greater intensity in game two, taking leads of 5-1, 7-2, 11-4 and 24-20. The Pirates pulled even at 26-26 en route to a two-point win.

Whitman stayed close early in game three, trailing 13-11 at one point. Whitworth reeled off four straight points, however, and coasted to victory.

Jill Huber led Whitman with 13 kills and seven blocks. "Jill had a good night," Snider said. "She blocked well, as did the whole team. They were just a little more than we could handle tonight. We didn't pass well, which didn't allow us to attack in the middle as much as we needed."

Megan Kanaga added 11 kills and Denise Kirstein 10. Kirstein led the defense with 14 digs. Erin Wade had 13 digs, Liz Nelson 10, and Huber 10. Wade also dished out 34 assists.

Whitworth All-American Julie Weatherred sparked the Pirates' attack with 20 kills and 19 digs, both match highs. "Weatherred was too much to handle, both offensively and defensively," Snider said. "She always seemed to get critical digs at a point where we could have pulled ahead. She's a great player."

"We're looking forward to Willamette this weekend," Snider said. "We want to get a little payback (for a loss earlier in the season at Willamette)." Whitman hosts the Bearcats at 2 p.m. Saturday in Sherwood Center. Willamette takes records of 7-9 and 4-4 into a Friday night match at Whitworth.

Box score

Saturday, Oct. 19

Bearcats Down Missionaries
30-25, 30-21, 16-30, 30-24

Willamette downed the Whitman women's volleyball team 3-1 Saturday afternoon in Northwest Conference play at Sherwood Center.

After the Bearcats won the first two games 30-25 and 30-21, Whitman gained the momentum in game three, prevailing 30-16. But Missionary hopes for a comeback ended when Willamette stopped Whitman in game four, closing out the match with a 30-24 victory.

Willamette improved to 8-10 on the season, 5-5 in conference, while the Missionaries fell to 8-10 and 3-7.

The Bearcats bolted in front to start game one, leading 6-2. After Whitman tied the game 15-15, neither team held more than a two-point lead until Willamette surged ahead 25-22. Whitman closed the gap to one point at 26-25, but Willamette ran off four straight points to end the game.

Willamette also controlled much of game two, taking advantage of Whitman's .054 hitting percentage. Whitman held an early 7-4 lead, but Willamette uncorked a 5-0 run and held the lead for the rest of the way.

"Willamette's a great team," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "They played well at the start, and it was tough for us to catch up."

Whitman looked like a new team in game three, hitting .389 while cruising to a 30-16 win. The Missionaries held Willamette to .068 hitting in game three, its lowest of the match.

Whitman maintained its momentum early in game four, leading 8-7. The Bearcats scored eight straight points, however, for a 16-8 cushion. A late rally by the Missionaries fell short and Willamette finished off the match.

Four Missionaries found their way to double digits in kills for the match: Denise Kirstein led the way with 13, Megan Kanaga had 12, Jill Huber 11 and Laura Williams 10.

"I was really pleased with Laura today," Snider noted. "She's really coming along as a middle blocker in this league, and I was thrilled with her play." Williams hit .471 on the day while recording four serving aces and three block assists.

Kirstein led the defense with 23 digs. Liz Nelson had 12 digs, Huber 11, and Kanaga and Erin Wade 10. Wade also added 43 assists.

Whitman travels to Tacoma next weekend for NWC matches against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran. Friday night's game with the Loggers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday's match begins at 3 p.m.

Box score

Friday, Oct. 25

Puget Sound Defeats
Whitman, 3-1
29-31, 30-26, 30-24, 30-19

The Whitman women's volleyball team dropped a Northwest Conference match 3-1 Friday night versus Puget Sound in Tacoma. The Missionaries (8-11, 3-8) took the opening game, but dropped the next three in losing to UPS (16-7, 7-4).

Game one was close throughout, with seven ties. Junior Jill Huber came out hot, collecting seven kills early in the match. UPS had several game points, but was kept off balance by the attack of Denise Kirstein. Enroute to a 31-29 victory, Kirstein supported the Whitman attack with six kills.

The Loggers jumped out to a 10-5 lead in game two. Whitman fought back within three at 15-12, but UPS took seven of the next ten points. Another late run by Whitman closed the gap, but UPS won the game 30-26.

Game three resembled game one as the two teams fought it out, combining for eight ties and five lead changes. Puget Sound led 26-23 when a red card was issued to Whitman, giving the Loggers a 27-23 lead. The Missionaries managed another point after the red card, but dropped the game 30-24.

"We played pretty well tonight," coach Dean Snider said. "We had a tough call in game three, and weren't able to stay in the match after that."

The Loggers controlled game four, cruising to a 30-19 win. The Missionaries hit just .042 in the game.

Kirstein led the Missionaries with 15 kills. Huber added 14, and Megan Kanaga 11. Huber also had four blocks, Kanaga three. Erin Wade collected 46 assists on the evening. Huber and Kirstein also led the defense, with 15 and 13 digs, respectively.

The Missionaries totalled 50 kills during the match, 21 less than UPS.

Whitman travels to PLU Saturday for a 3 p.m. match with the Lutes. PLU is 13-5, 7-3 going into Friday night.

Box score

Saturday, Oct. 26

Whitman Downs
No. 23 PLU
28-30, 25-30, 30-23, 30-22, 15-12

The Whitman women's volleyball team, down two games to none, rallied to knock off No. 23 Pacific Lutheran in a Northwest Conference match on Saturday afternoon. The Missionaries dropped games one and two, 28-30 and 25-30, but won the remaining three, 30-23, 30-22, 15-12.

Whitman improved its record to 9-11 overall, 4-8 in NWC. PLU dropped to 13-7, 7-5.

PLU won the first two games, but the Missionaries gained momentum early in game three, taking a 6-1 lead. With the game tied 18-18, Whitman went on a 9-2 run, opening up a 27-20 lead. PLU managed another three points, but three kills by Denise Kirstein finished off the game.

Whitman continued to roll in game four, leading early and building a 17-9 advantage. The Lutes would not go quietly, however, and cut the lead to two at 21-19. Whitman responded with seven straight points, and eventually finished off the game 30-22.

The fifth-and-deciding was tied at 6-6 when Whitman opened up a 12-7 lead on several PLU attack errors and two serving aces by Kirstein. The Lutes got within two at 14-12, but a kill by Jill Huber ended the match.

"It's nice to come here and do what they did to us in our gym -- win in five games after trailing by two," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "We just kept grinding, and played mentally tough volleyball," Snider added.

The Missionaries' attack was led by Huber, with 23 kills while hitting .405. Kirstein had 20 kills of her own, Megan Kanaga 12, and Laura Williams 11.

"Laura Williams was outstanding in the middle today," Snider noted. "She had a critical kill and block in game five to help us pull ahead, and just did a great job."

"We had good team play today," Snider added. "This was our best match of the season."

Kirstein led the team in digs, with 25. Huber added 16, and junior Liz Nelson 11. Setter Erin Wade dished out 63 assists in the winning effort. As a team, the Missionaries posted a .255 hitting percentage with 78 kills.

Whitman returns home next weekend, with matches against George Fox (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Lewis and Clark (Saturday, 4 p.m.).

Box score

Friday, Nov. 1

George Fox
Downs Whitman
22-30, 30-23, 30-15, 26-30, 15-11

Nationally ranked George Fox defeated the Whitman women's volleyball team 3-2 Friday night in a Northwest Conference match at Sherwood Center. The Bruins (19-4, 10-3) used strong defensive play to down the Missionaries (9-12, 4-9) 22-30, 30-23, 30-15, 26-30, 15-11.

The No. 21 Bruins recorded 113 digs and 10 team blocks as they held off a resilient Whitman squad. "They're the best blocking team in the league," Whitman coach Dean Snider said. "They're number two in the conference for a reason, and just edged us out tonight."

Game one stayed close until the Missionaries, leading by a score of 14-13, went on a 6-1 run behind a kill and two serving aces from Jill Huber. A Whitman serving error made the score 20-15, but the Missionaries again took control of the game, scoring seven of the next ten points to lead, 27-17. A kill by Laura Williams ended the game, 30-22.

"Laura played really strong tonight," Snider noted. "She had six blocks and continues to improve with every match.

George Fox jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game two, but the Missionaries fought back to take a 9-8 lead on a kill by Megan Kanaga. Another kill and a block by Kanaga helped Whitman establish a 12-8 lead. The momentum changed again, however, with the Bruins taking 12 of the next 16 points. The Missionaries could not cut the lead to any more than three points the rest of the way, losing 30-23.

After two hard fought games, a worn down Whitman squad fell behind early in game three, hitting -.104 while losing 30-15. The Missionaries rebounded in game four, posting 14 kills and hitting .105. Kanaga again led the attack, slamming seven kills as Whitman won, 30-26.

George Fox controlled the fifth and deciding game, taking leads of 5-1, and 10-5. The match ended on a kill by the Bruin's Ashley Glisson.

"We played well tonight," Snider said, "we had a little letdown in game three, but rebounded well in game four."

Kanaga led the Missionaries with a match high 23 kills. Denise Kirstein added 17, Jill Huber 12. Six Missionaries were in double figures in digs: Huber 25, Erin Wade 17, Liz Nelson and Elly Smith 16, Kirstein 14, and Kanaga 11. Wade handed out 53 assists.

Whitman plays its final home game Saturday at 4 p.m. versus Lewis & Clark. The Pioneers come in 4-19, 1-12.

Box score

Saturday, Nov. 2

Whitman Defeats
Lewis & Clark
30-11, 30-19, 30-23

Posting one of its best team hitting percentages (.354) of the season, the Whitman women's volleyball team (10-12, 5-9) downed Lewis & Clark (4-20, 1-13) Saturday afternoon 3-0 in Sherwood Center.

Winning handily in their final home match of the season, the Missionaries pieced together a 30-11, 30-19, 30-23 victory. "We had a great attack tonight," Whitman coach Dean Snider said.

Whitman dominated game one, hitting a lofty .520 while committing just one error. Junior Denise Kirstein led the attack with five kills, and the Missionaries had seven serving aces. Whitman won game two behind a defense that recorded 23 digs and held the Pioneer attack to a negative hitting percentage (minus .093).

Lewis & Clark jumped to leads of 6-2 and 10-8 in game three, but the Missionaries responded each time. Whitman took the lead for good at 11-10 on a Megan Kanaga block. For Kanaga, the only senior on the team, match was her final home competition.

Kirstein, who led all hitters with 14 kills, finished with a .370 hitting percentage. Jill Huber hit .480 with 13 kills, while Kanaga had 10 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. Kirstein also had 13 digs, Huber 10, and Liz Nelson 9. Erin Wade had 37 assists.

The Missionaries had a dozen service aces -- four by Huber and three by Kanaga.

"It was nice to get a split this weekend," Snider noted. "We thought we could have had two, but we're poised to get back to .500 [on the season] with two wins next weekend."

Whitman finishes its season on the road next weekend, playing matches against Pacific (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Linfield (Saturday, 3 p.m.).

Box score

Friday, Nov. 8

Defeats Whitman
30-28, 31-29, 26-30, 16-30, 15-6

The Whitman women's volleyball team dropped a five game match to Pacific Friday night in a Northwest Conference matchup. Whitman dropped to 10-13 overall, 5-10 in conference while Pacific won their second match of the year to improve to 2-21, 2-13.

The Boxers posted their best hitting percentage of the year (.210) enroute to the five game victory. Whitman dropped games one and two by two points each. In game one, Pacific held a 25-23 advantage, but the Missionaries came back to tie it up 28-28 before dropping the game, 30-28.

Whitman led early in game two 16-12, but dropped the next five points to lose the lead. Game two went down to the wire, just as game one did, and the Missionaries again found themselves on the low end, losing 31-29.

The Missionaries controlled the next two games, hitting 17 kills in each while winning 30-26 and 30-16. The momentum changed once again in game five, however, and the Boxers cruised to a 15-6 win while hitting a lofty .500.

Junior Jill Huber led the Missionary attack with 20 kills and a .226 hitting percentage. Denise Kirstein hit .111 with 16 kills, Mandee Romero .333 with 11 kills, and Senior Megan Kanaga .143 with 11 kills. Huber also had 20 digs, followed by Elly Smith with 17, and Liz Nelson 15.

Whitman plays its final match of the season on Saturday, a 3 p.m. matchup with Linfield.

Box score

Saturday, Nov. 9

Whitman Downs
26-30, 30-27, 30-25, 30-27

The Whitman women's volleyball team finished its season on a positive note Saturday, downing Linfield in four games.

The Missionaries finished 11-13 overall, 6-10 in conference. The women posted an identical conference record last season, but improved their overall record by two games. Linfield losts its third straight, and fell to 14-8, 8-8.

Jill Huber saved her best match for last as she powered the Missionaries past Linfield with 25 kills while hitting .365. Huber also had 16 digs and three total blocks in the match.

"Jill had an outstanding match," coach Dean Snider said. "They were really keying on her tonight since she had 28 kills against them last time."

After losing game one by four points, the Missionaries rebounded to win three straight. The final three games were also close, and Whitman won the three by total of only 11 points.

"We really wanted a sweep this weekend," Snider noted, "but ended up getting a split the hard way." The Missionaries dropped a five game match to Pacific last night, and would have finished the season with a .500 record with that win.

The Missionaries played well defensively. Liz Nelson had 20 digs, Denise Kirstein 15 and Elly Smith 13. Junior Erin Wade dished out 56 assists in the win.

Senior Megan Kanaga played her final match for Whitman and recorded 17 kills and four serving aces. She finished her career off in style with a block to end the match.

Box score