Volleyball Opens Season

Submitted by: Ron Smith - August 21st, 2015


Sydney Striff

Sydney Striff

Westmont Volleyball started the season at the prestigious Biola/Red Lion-Anaheim Summer Slam that features 14 teams from the NAIA, including six teams ranked in the NAIA Preseason Top-25 Coaches’ Poll.

The Warriors seemed determined to garner plenty of court time in the early season tournament. Westmont went five sets in each of three matches against ranked opponents before sweeping unranked Bellevue (Neb.) in straight sets (25-21, 25-19, 25-14). The Warriors were 2-2 over the two-day event.

“I am really please with a 2-2 start to our season, especially with the caliber of teams that were down here,” said Westmont head coach Patti Cook. “What I am especially pleased with is that we got better and learned something with every match.”

Thursday afternoon, Westmont began the tournament with a 3-2 (25-22, 27-25, 26-28, 23-25, 15-11) loss to #22 Hastings (Neb.). Late Thursday night, the Warriors rebounded with a 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-11) victory over #14 College of Idaho.

Friday morning saw the Warriors face off against #5 Rocky Mountain and take the Bears to five sets before falling 25-23, 25-17, 14-25, 20-25, 15-11.

“We knew that his morning was going to be a tough one for us to pull off with the late night that we had the night before and not much turnaround time,” said Cook. “I felt like we performed really well, even though our focus was a bit off.”

We got consistent performances out of both of our middle blockers in all four matches,” said Cook, referring to senior captain Missy Fuerst and freshman Libby Dahlberg. “They were working really hard, had a good time blocking and had good offense as well.”

Dahlberg made her Warrior debut by tallying 40 kills and posting a .308 attack percentage. Fuerst added another 34 kills to the Warrior’s totals while hitting at a .333 rate.

Over the four matches, Westmont’s outside hitters combined for 101 kills with sophomore Taylor Beckman posting a team high 53 kills and recording an attack percentage of .289. Junior Jessica McCann notched 48 kills for the Warriors.

On the right side, senior Sydney Striff contributed 32 kills and junior Sarah McGough added 21 more to the Warrior’s totals.

Westmont utilized two setters throughout the day with junior Alexa Nestlerode credited with 100 assists (5.56 per set) and freshman Amy Buffam earning 91 (5.06 per set).

“It was a fun start to our season,” asserted Cook. “While it is not the best that we can play, it showed the potential of this team for this season – and that potential is high.”

The Warriors return to La Mirada next week for two more games. On Friday, the Warriors will take on the Stars of Oklahoma City at one o’clock in Biola’s Chase Gymnasium and then play first-year program Life Pacific in a four o’clock game.

[game one box] [game two box] [game three box] [game four box]