Westmont Volleyball (20-7, 11-5 GSAC) was left out of the NAIA Volleyball National Tournament following its Golden State Athletic Conference loss on Saturday night to The Master’s College (20-10, 11-5).
The unexpected exclusion was a direct result of the Warriors falling from number 12 to number 20 in the NAIA Volleyball Coaches Top-25 Final Poll released this morning. The last at-large berth was taken by Southern Oregon (24-4), which was ranked at number 19.
On Saturday evening, the Warrior had an opportunity to not only secure a national tournament bid, but also to receive a first round bye. The top 11 ranked teams receive first round byes and Westmont, ranked at number 12, was aware that the ninth, 10th and 11th ranked teams had already lost in conference tournaments going on throughout the country. A win against The Master’s would likely have moved the Warriors into the top 11.
The loss, however, brought an end to the Warriors’ season.
Westmont Volleyball (20-7, 11-5 GSAC), ranked at number 12 in the NAIA National Coaches Poll, ended the regular season on a disappointing note Saturday night in Murchison Gymnasium. The Warriors fell to The Master’s in the final Golden State Athletic Conference match for both teams in four sets by scores of 18-25, 25-21, 25-51, 26-24.
The loss likely means a missed opportunity for the Warriors to receive a bye in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament. The top 11 ranked teams receive a bye and with several teams ranked above the Warriors suffering losses in conference tournaments around the nation, the possibility of Westmont moving up at least one spot in the national poll seemed likely. The loss, however, has made that doubtful.
The Warriors looked to be in control in the opening frame, recording a .243 team attack percentage and holding the Mustangs to just .077. However, the Mustangs bolted out of the chute in the second set to post a 10-5 lead and grab momentum. The Warriors narrowed the Mustangs’ margin to 23-21, but kills by The Master’s Aubrey Pyburn and Emily Curtin ended the set and evened the match at one set apiece.
Seniors Alex Bush and Ryan Crowe have been named NAIA Preseason All-Americans as chosen by the NAIA Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) All-America Committee. Westmont – ranked at #16 in the NAIA Preseason Poll released today – and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) are the only institutions to have multiple preseason selections.
“I am excited for Alex and Ryan to be recognized in this way,” said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. “As a program, we try to not get wrapped up in awards or personnel recognition. Those two guys would be the first to tell you that they care more about how good we can be collectively as a team – which is probably why they put themselves in a position to be recognized in the way that they did.”
Bush, who hails from Menifee, was named to the 17-man team as a first baseman. The second-year captain, who received NAIA All-American honorable mention recognition last year, was the 2015 NAIA Gold Glove winner at first base. He was also the Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a member of the All-GSAC team.
By Kaci Mexico
October 5, 2015
Senior Kelsey Steck received Golden State Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors for her performance in last week’s games. She was named the award winner after a scoring three goals in two conference games – one against Biola and two against Arizona Christian.
The center forward from Valencia was the first to score in each of these games. Last Wednesday against Biola, she had a clinical one-time finish from the top of the six yard line off of a cross from junior Brooke Lillywhite to earn the Warriors the lead for the better part of the game. The Warriors ended up tying Biola 2-2.
The following Saturday, Steck scored the first and third goal of the Warriors’ 5-0 win against Arizona Christian. The first goal came when Lillywhite played a through ball to Steck who slotted the ball into the left side of the goal. Ten minutes later, Steck scored again with a shot from four yards out off of a cross from sophomore Jackie Lopez.
By Kaci Mexico
In the battle between two top ten ranked teams, the number #2 Northwestern Ohio Racers defeated the #7 Westmont Warriors 3-2 in a seesaw battle.
The first goal came in the 22st minute and began with Steck receiving and holding the ball near the top of the 18 yard line. Steck played a square ball through to Lilywhite who slipped Jackie Lopez in stride down the right sideline. Lopez took a one time shot from a sharp angle 10 yards out which hit the inside of the far goal post and shot back into the goal putting the Warriors up 1-0.
The Racers answered back in the 39th minute with a goal off of a free kick on the 18 yard line by Laura Blanchard.
Just before the second half the Racers pulled ahead in the 45th minute when Vanessa Barcelleiro slipped a ball in behind the Warrior defense to Blanchard who shot low and into the corner for her second goal of the game.
By Karlie Storkson
Day eight and nine and the beginning of 10 have been an absolute whirlwind.
Day eight was our last day of service with the Sports Outreach Institute (SOI) Gulu team. It was bittersweet as we were exhausted and ready for a break but extremely sad to say goodbye to our dear Ugandan friends.
Day nine was a travel day to the Murchison Falls Game Park. We had a boat ride down the Nile planned followed by a hike to the top of the falls. We were delayed for a bit when a thunder and lightning storm hit after we had gotten on the boat but before we had set sail. We prayed and sang and waited the storm out. And then got to go on the boat ride and see the falls. Unfortunately it was too wet and dangerous to hike to the top of the falls. At the end of the day we were able to hear Sam’s (our guide’s) testimony and have some more debriefing time.
On Day ten we went on a sunrise safari and saw elephants, giraffes and lions. Wow. We all can’t wait to share our pictures.
Westmont saw its first day of international competition on Monday as the Warriors took on the Gazelles of the Uganda National Women’s Basketball Team in a game that almost wasn’t.
The day began with the Westmont team traveling with their hosts, Sports Outreach Institute, into one of the slums of Kampala to reach out to kids.
“We split up into a couple of groups and shared stories with the kids,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “My group got creative and acted out the story of Jonah. The kids showed us some dances that they all have been learning. ”
After a day of service and caring for kids, the team said good bye and headed off to the Lugogo Indoor Stadium for the evening’s game. That’s when the adventure took a wrong turn – or at least a very slow one.