Missionaries savor volleyball win at Whitworth

News Release Date:
Wednesday, September 19

SPOKANE — The Whitman College Missionaries put a disappointing NWC start behind them here Wednesday with a solid performance and a 25-18, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20 women’s volleyball victory over Whitworth University.

The Whits, who were coming off back-to-back road losses to nationally ranked University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, improved to 3-7 overall with their first NWC victory in three tries. The Pirates remained winless in league matches at 0-3 and fell to 4-6 overall.

“My gosh we played well,” first-year Whitman coach Matt Helm said. “It is hard to single anybody out because they all played great.

“If you look at the stats you’ll see we had three kill leaders. We passed the ball well, we received well and our setters made some great decisions in running our offense and getting all of our players involved. And a real high point for us was our blocking, because we really blocked well.”

Seniors Courtney Brewer and Olivia Nielson, both form Anchorage, Alaska, and junior Jillian Davis (El Paso, Texas) led the Missionaries at the net with 10 kills each. Nielson was also the Missionaries’ blocks leader with eight.

Junior Rachel Cline (Seattle) put up a team-high 29 assists and contributed eight digs and five blocks. And freshman Hannah Linsenmayer (Mill Creek, Wash.) led the team with 28 digs and two service aces.

Davis and junior Becca Gotz (Bothell, Wash.) were also in double digits in digs with 15 and 13, respectively. Cline added five kills to her night’s work and sophomore Jazmine Moledina (Woodside, Calif.) chipped in with four kills.

“This is a big confidence boost for our team,” Helm said. “The league right now, teams are beating each other, going five sets, and I think we are as good as anybody out there.

“I thought we competed well against two nationally ranked teams last weekend,” Helm added. “It was good to compete and get the win”. Also, Helm noted, his team was refreshed before taking on the Pirates. The Whits had played nine matches in the first two weeks of the season, all of them on the road, going into Wednesday’s match.

“We have had a tough stretch of being on the road,” said Helm, who will unveil his first Whitman team at Sherwood Center Friday night against Willamette in a NWC counter.

“This is a big weekend for us, just to be able to sleep in our own beds and be able to play in front of our home crowd,” Helm said. “I think our fans are excited to see the women play. They have seen the scores, they have seen us working hard in practice, and I think they want to come out and root for us.”

It will be a brief homestand, however,

Following the Willamette match, Whitman travels to Newberg, Ore., Sept. 28 to face George Fox and meets Lewis & Clark the following day in Portland.

“It’s going to be back on the road again,” Helm said.

Whitman will play seven of its final 10 matches, all of them NWC matches, on its home floor.

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