Submitted by: Ron Smith - November 4th, 2016


Mila Maricic and Jessica McCann

Mila Maricic and Jessica McCann

Westmont Volleyball, the top-ranked team in the NAIA, reached another milestone on Friday night. By sweeping The Master’s in Santa Clarita 25-23, 25-18, 25-20, the Warriors improved their record to 30-0, which is the best regular season mark by any Westmont team in history.

Tomorrow night, the Warriors have an opportunity to become the only Westmont team, in any sport, to go undefeated in the regular season. A win Saturday night in Fullerton against Hope International will make the Warriors 31-0 and likely give them the number one seed in the upcoming NAIA National Tournament.

In Friday’s match, right side hitter Cassidy Rea led the Warriors with nine kills while producing a .600 attack percentage. The freshman also contributed three block assists to help the Warriors to an 11-1 team blocking advantage over the Mustangs.

Outside hitter Taylor Beckman tallied eight kills for the Warriors and produced a solid .316 attack percentage. Defensively, Beckman contributed 18 serve receptions, four digs and two block assists to the Warrior cause.

Middle blocker Libby Dahlberg notched six kills for the Warriors and a .312 attack percentage. The sophomore factored big at the net, producing six block assists.

The Warriors struggled a bit in the first set, falling behind 14-9. After a timeout by Westmont head coach Patti Cook, the Warriors produced a 7-1 run to take a 16-15 lead. A back-and-forth battle ensued with the Warriors finally pulling ahead 24-20 on a solo block by Jessica McCann.

After a timeout by The Master’s head coach Allan Vince, the Mustangs claimed the next three points, all on Westmont attack errors. However, a kill by Sam Neely put an end to The Master’s rally and gave the Warriors set one.

The opening set saw the Warriors struggle with their attack, making seven of their 10 hitting errors in the first frame and posting just a .128 attack percentage. However, the Warriors would get things turned around in sets two and three, hitting .458 and .444 respectively.

In the second set, Westmont threw a block party to claim a 12-4 lead. Four of the Warriors’ points during that span were the result of Westmont closing the roof. The Master’s fought back and came to within three points (19-16) on a kill be Rebecca Davis, but Westmont turned things around and finished out the set on a 6-2 run.

The Master’s took an early lead in set three, leading by as many as three points on three occasions. However, Westmont tied the score at nine on a block by Neely and Dahlberg and then went up 10-9 when the duo did the same on the next point.

With the score tied at 12-all, Rea, Dahlberg and Sarah McGough delivered back-to-back-to-back kills to give the Warriors a lead (15-12) that they would never surrender.

Tomorrow’s regular season-ending match is scheduled for a seven o’clock first serve. Because the Warriors are expected to receive a bye in the opening round of the NAIA Tournament on November 19 (regardless of tomorrow night’s result), Westmont is not scheduled to play again until November 29 during pool play at the NAIA National Championship Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.

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