by Peter Houston-Hencken
The volleyball team suffered two defeats this past weekend while on the road in Oregon. The Pirates lost a hard-fought match against the Pacific University Boxers, 3-2, on Friday night. Saturday’s game ended in a 3-1 loss to the Linfield College Wildcats.
The Pirates fell from first place in the conference, dropping to third behind Willamette University and Lewis & Clark University.
“I think that right now we can’t concern ourselves where we are at in conference,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “Our biggest concern is just playing well and finding out what we need to fix to get better.”
The volleyball team started their weekend with a close loss to the Pacific University. Both teams showed varying levels of skill and weakness as seen in the ranging set scores.
The first set began with both teams struggling to take a sizeable lead. However, the Pirates were able to break away at 17-16 and would hold the lead for the rest of the set. Whitworth won the first set with a score of 25-23.
The second set appeared to follow the same pattern of the first. The Pirates initially held the lead at 22-21, but the Boxers were able to score four points in a row and win the set 25-22.
The Boxers came out strong in the third set by taking the lead and holding it for most of the set. The Pirates had difficulty keeping up and dropped behind as much as seven points. The Pirates were able to shrink the gap, but failed to prevent Pacific’s second set win, 28-26.
Whitworth responded by taking a eight-point lead in the fourth set. The Pirates won the set with a dramatic score of 25-17.
The Pirates were not able to carry that momentum over to the final set and lost with a score of 15-11 and a set score of 3-2.
“We had a couple small defensive skills that we needed to get better at,” senior Maddye Dinsmore said. “We have to be ready to show up and play our best ball any given night.”
Saturday night did not hold a better outcome for the Pirates. The Linfield Wildcats took the lead and won the first set with a score of 25-21.
The Pirates came back and dominated the second set by taking a strong early lead. The Pirates won the set with a score of 25-12.
“We got confidence in ourselves,” junior Brenna Bruil said. “We believed in each other so much that we were able to make a change and turn the game around.”
Bruil led the Pirates’ offense with 12 kills and 28 attempts. However, the third and fourth set mirrored each other and were claimed by the Wildcats. Both sets featured Whitworth taking an early lead, but letting it slip to Linfield. The third and fourth sets ended with scores of 25-20 and 25-22.
The Pirates will take on Lewis-Clark State tonight at 7 p.m. in Lewiston, Idaho.
Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at email@example.com