Whitman completes season sweep of Whitworth in volleyball

News Release Date:
Thursday, October 18, 2012

The team huddles during their comeback victory over PLU

Four days after Whitman's come-from-behind victory over conference-leading Pacific Lutheran, the Whitworth Pirates were unable to halt Whitman volleyball's steamroller-esque momentum. In front of 100 rowdy spectators at the Sherwood Center on Wednesday night, the Missionaries spiked their way to a 25-12, 25-8, 25-22 victory to move into sole possession of 5th place in the conference.

With the Missionaries within striking distance of a .500 conference record for the first time in recent memory, first year Head Coach Matt Helm claimed his team dominated by playing well in all facets of the game. "Our ladies played great last night! I felt we all played together as a team, and everyone fulfilled their role. Our ball control was excellent, which was highlighted by our back row defense."

The primary back row defenders, Hannah Linsenmayer (Mill Creek, WA), Becca Gotz (Bothell, WA), and Rachel Shober (Monroe, WA) combined for 39 of Whitman's 53 digs, and frustrated the Pirates into a combined -.029 hitting percentage.

Rachel Cline, Jr.

On the offensive side of the ball, Helm had special praise for his pair of senior Alaskan middles, Courtney Brewer and Olivia Nielson (Anchorage, AK), "Our middles had excellent matches with (Nielson) and (Brewer) hitting .500 and .455, respectively." Brewer had 5 kills to go with 2 assisted blocks, while Nielson tallied 10 kills, 2 assisted block, and one solo block. Helm also highlighted junior outside hitter, Jillian Davis' (El Paso, TX) tenacity, saying "(Davis) had another stellar evening and battled through flu-like symptoms to play excellently." Davis had 13 kills and 7 digs.

Completing the team performance were sophomore Megan Bafus (Kenmore, WA), who "did a great job blocking on the right side," and junior Rachel Cline (Seattle, WA), who "did an excellent job distributing the ball and keeping the Pirates defense off balance." Cline had 29 assists, 3 kills, and 5 digs for the Missionaries.

With the victory in-hand, the Whitman volleyball team heads to Salem this weekend, hoping to level its conference record against the 6th-place Bearcats, before returning home to host the 3rd- and 4th-place George Fox Bruins and Pacific Boxers the weekend of the 26th.

A couple wins in those three matches would allow the Missionaries to finish in the top half of the conference, a enormous step forward for the rising program.