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Westmont Volleyball, the top-ranked team in the NAIA with a record of 31-0, has received multiple honors from the Golden State Athletic Conference. In addition to five Warriors named to the All-GSAC team, Libby Dahlberg, Kami Troesh and Cassidy Rea were recognized with the conference’s annual player awards. The coaching staff also was honored with head coach Patti Cook named the GSAC Coach of the Year and Ruth McGolpin named the GSAC Assistant Coach of the Year.
Named to the All-GSAC Team were junior outside hitter Taylor Beckman of Lake Oswego, Oregon; junior middle blocker Mila Maricic of Harbor City; senior outside hitter Jessica McCann of Lemoore; Dahlberg who is a sophomore middle blocker from Sacramento and Troesh, a senior libero from Newport Beach.
Dahlberg was honored as the GSAC Player of the Year while Troesh was recognized as the GSAC Libero of the Year. Rea, a right-side hitter from Ventura, was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year.
Leading the GSAC in both attack percentage (.399) and blocks (1.25 per set), Dahlberg dominated play at the net during the season. Dahlberg connected for a team-high 287 kills (2.79 per set). Defensively she tallied 31 solo blocks and 98 block assists. Last season, Dahlberg was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year. This is the second time she has been named to the All-GSAC team.
As announced today by the NAIA National Office, Westmont Volleyball (31-0, 16-0 GSAC) has been named the number one seed in the upcoming NAIA National Tournament. The Warriors, who are also ranked number one in the Final NAIA Coaches Poll released today, have received an opening round bye.
Westmont will travel to Sioux City, Iowa to begin Pool Play on November 29. As the number one seed, Westmont will compete in Pool A. In addition to Westmont, Pool A is expected to include #16 Indiana Wesleyan (34-2) and #17 Columbia (26-11). The fourth team in the pool will be the lowest-seeded team who wins an Opening Round game.
Indiana Wesleyan won the Crossroads League Regular Season Championship with a record of 18-0 before claiming the Crossroads League Tournament Championship and gaining an automatic berth into Nationals. The Wildcats and Warriors did not share any common opponents.
Indiana Wesleyan’s only losses this season came to #4 Lindsey Wilson by a score of 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-13) on August 27 and to #2 Viterbo by a score of 3-2 (25-23, 27-29, 25-16, 25-27, 15-12) on October 15. The Wildcats have won their last 10 matches.
For the first time in school history, Westmont Athletics has a team that has gone undefeated in the regular season. With a three-game sweep (25-18, 25-17, 25-12) of Hope International (11-14, 5-9 GSAC) in the final Golden State Athletic Conference game of the year, #1 Westmont Volleyball has completed the regular season with a perfect record of 31-0 overall and 16-0 in conference play.
“I told the team before this game to appreciate the moment,” said head coach Patti Cook, “and to realize that we have been making history and we are about to make history one more time tonight by sweeping the GSAC. I told them to look around and appreciate their teammates and know that we have something very special going on here.”
An outstanding accomplishment by any accounting, the feat is made more remarkable when one considers that the Warriors played just eight matches on their home court in Murchison Gymnasium. Westmont was 13-0 when playing on their opponents’ courts this season and 10-0 in matches played at neutral sites.
In 16 conference matches, the Warriors lost just one set, giving them a set record of 48-1 (.980) in GSAC play. That mark is the best in GSAC history since the first year of the conference in 1986 when Fresno Pacific claimed the conference crown with a 5-0 record by sweeping all five of its matches for a 15-0 set record.
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.
For the third time this season, #1 Westmont Volleyball (29-0, 14-0 GSAC) has swept the Golden State Athletic Conference weekly volleyball awards. The GSAC Defender of the Week Award was given to Taylor Beckman of Lake Oswego, Oregon and the GSAC Attacker of the Week Award went to Libby Dahlberg of Sacramento. Alexa Nestlerode of Thousand Oaks was named the GSAC Setter of the Week.
Beckman, a junior outside hitter who also plays the back row, tallied 38 serve receptions on the week in Westmont’s sweeps of #19 Biola (25-11, 25-20, 25-14) and Vanguard (25-19, 25-20, 25-13). She also produced 16 digs and put up five blocks – four of which came against Biola. In addition to her defensive contributions, Beckman produced 17 kills and a .372 attack percentage.
Dahlberg, a sophomore middle blocker, produced a .500 attack percentage while pounding down 17 kills. In 30 attempts, she had just two hitting errors. Dahlberg also posted nine total blocks – four block assists against Biola and four block assists against Vanguard against whom she also had a solo block.
Nestlerode, who shares setting duties with Amy Buffham in a 6-2 offensive scheme, recorded 41 assists including 22 against Biola. The senior setter also produced three aces serves and eight digs.
For the first time since 1993, Westmont Volleyball (29-0, 14-0 GSAC) has claimed the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship. The feat was accomplished by a sweep of Vanguard (25-19, 25-20, 25-13) in front of a boisterous home crowd in Murchison Gymnasium.
With two games remaining in the GSAC season, the Warriors are three games ahead of both #19 Biola (21-9, 11-3) and The Master’s (19-10, 11-3).
“I so proud of this team and what they have accomplished so far,” said Westmont head coach Patti Cook. “It shows that they have worked hard, that they have stayed hungry, that they have stayed focus. We haven’t let success get to our heads, but have wanted to do our best in every single game. They definitely deserve this this year.”
The Warriors have two matches remaining in the regular season, both on the road. Next Friday, Westmont will take on The Master’s in Santa Clarita. Then on Saturday, the Warriors will wrap up the 2016 GSAC season in Fullerton with a match against Hope International (11-12, 5-7).
Because the Warriors are expected to receive a bye in the Opening Round of the NAIA National Tournament, Westmont will not play again until pool play begins on November 29 at the National Tournament final site in Sioux City, Iowa.
Westmont hitters put on a show in La Mirada as Westmont (28-0, 13-0 GSAC) posted another sweep of a Golden State Athletic Conference opponent, defeating #19 Biola (19-9, 10-3) by scores of 25-11, 25-20, 25-14. The Warriors produced a .319 hitting percentage as a team while holding the Eagles to .057.
Nearly one year ago (361 days to be exact), Biola entered Westmont’s Murchison Gymnasium with a number one ranking to take on the then #17 Warriors. The Warriors won in four sets (25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 30-28) knocking the Eagles out of the top spot.
Tonight, Westmont took its newly minted number one ranking into Biola’s Chase Gymnasium, expecting Biola to be eager to turn the tables on the undefeated Warriors. Seeking a big crowd to enhance its home court advantage, Biola promised free pizza to the first 200 fans that showed up at the game wearing red.
But the Warriors were expecting a boisterous crowd.
“It was a good crowd, nice and loud,” said Westmont head coach Patti Cook. “We practiced with earplugs yesterday, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to hear each other tonight so we would have to talk extra loud.”