Volleyball jumps to first in conference over family weekend

by Peter Houston-Hencken
Sports Editor

The volleyball team put on a show for students and families by winning two games over Family Weekend. Friday night’s game against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes ended with a score of 3-1. The Pirates took a double victory by beating the Puget Sound Loggers, 3-0 the next day.

The first two sets against the Lutes played out smoothly for the Pirates. Whitworth held a strong lead for the entire first set, ending in 25-17. The Lutes came back in the second set and gave Whitworth a challenge. They fell behind late in the set and lost with a score of 25-19.

The Pirates showcased their defensive skills with the help of senior Mallorie Schoesler. Schoesler racked up an impressive 30 digs on Friday.

“I’ve been really focusing on being aggressive on defense and just keeping my vision on the other side of the net,” Schoesler said.

The Lutes and Pirates were neck-and-neck for the entire third set. Neither team took a strong lead, but the Lutes were able to end the set at 28-26.

“I thought PLU did an excellent job of passing well,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “They were able to get into a great rhythm offensively, utilizing all three hitters in the front row.”

The fourth set looked as if it were to parallel the outcome of the third set. However, the Pirates managed to pull ahead and win the game with a score of 25-22.

The Saturday game began with the Pirates winning the first set. However, it would be the smallest lead for a final score the Pirates would receive.

“I feel like they blocked us pretty well during that first set,” Bodecker said. “We had to adjust to that.”

The Pirates came out strong in the second set and held the lead for a majority of the set. About halfway through the set sophomore Corrine Bell suffered an injury and was forced to leave the game.

However, the Pirates did not let up and exhibited skill in placing kills in the areas left open by the Loggers. Senior Nicole Leonard led the offense with 16 kills and 36 attacks.

“With my height I’m not supposed to be this power hitter,” Leonard said. “So what I try to do is place the balls effectively.”

The Pirates ended the second set with a score of 25-14. Whitworth was able to duplicate their success in the third set and end the game 25-14.

After Family Weekend, the Pirates were able to reach first place in conference with a record of 8-2.

The volleyball team will face off against Whitman College on Wednesday, September 21. The game will be held in the Fieldhouse at 6 p.m.

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at phouston-hencken17@my.whitworth.edu

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