ELLENSBURG — Walla Walla University dropped its first volleyball match at the Central Washington Invitational in three games to Western Washington here on Thursday.
The NCAA Division II Vikings (ranked No. 21 nationally) defeated the Wolves 25-13, 25-16, and 25-15.
But the Wolves pulled out the day’s second match in four games, downing NAIA opponent Evergreen State College 25-23, 25-17, 23-25 and 25-19.
The leaders for WWU against the Vikings included Elisa Westman with five kills; Natalie Wilkening with five kills, one ace and five digs; Heather McFadden with four kills, one ace and seven digs; Michelle Warner with four kills; Torrey Haddad with 19 assists; Antoinette Bedros with five digs; and Quijuana Oucharek with five digs.
"This was the best we’ve played yet this season," Wolves coach Don Hepker said. "The score or stats don’t tell the whole story.
"We played right with them for 12 or 15 points. Then we just couldn’t keep up with their size and power," Hepker said. "Our goal was to make them earn every point against us, and I believe we accomplished that against the 21st ranked NCAA DII team in the nation."
The Wolves stat leaders against the Geoducks included Natalie Wilkening with 14 kills, two aces and 11 digs; Michelle Warner with eight kills; Elisa Westman with six kills; Quijuana Oucharek with five aces and 11 digs; Antoinette Bedros with two aces and 19 digs; and Torrey Haddad with 36 assists and 14 digs.
"We received a lot of help off the bench for this match," Hepker said. "Freshman Danielle Diaz came off the bench late in Game No. 2 with a crucial kill to start a six-point run and finished the match with four kills.
"Everyone contributed to this win," he said.
The Wolves continue play today against Central Washington University and Academy of the Arts, both NCAA Division II programs.
Missionaries hand Walla Walla Community College four-game defeat at Sherwood Center
WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College’s volleyball team stumbled to a four-game loss to Whitman Wednesday in a match at Sherwood Center on the Whitman College campus.
The 25-22, 13-25, 26-24, 25-17 defeat dropped the Warriors’ season mark to 3-2.
The match won’t count on Whitman’s record since it is officially considered a scrimmage for the four-year NCAA Division III school.
"Congratulations to Whitman," Warriors coach Tim Toon said. "They made a nice comeback in set one and made a couple of critical plays to close out set three. They strung quality stretches of points together better than we did tonight."
Corine Holbvrook and Cassie Phippen led WWCC at the net with seven kills each and Madison Baxter and Emilee Toft added four kills each. Ashley VanCurler finished with four kills.
Megan Tompkins, described by Toon as his team’s "vocal leader," put up 20 digs and Sharsti Goff, who is "improving as one of our quarterbacks," led the way with 19 assists to go with seven digs.
Sarah McLean, WWCC’s other setter, had 15 assists and seven digs.
Chippen’s game also included eight blocks and three serving aces, Holbrook added seven digs and Toft and VanCurelr combined for five blocks."
"We’ll have to hit it hard in practice this week to be ready for our first conference opponent," Toon said. "With a few lineup variations, we’ll be ready."
The Warriors entertain Blue Mountain Wednesday for their NWAACC East Region opener beginning at 6 p.m.
Whitman, meanwhile, takes flight this weekend to officially open its season in a tournament at California Lutheran in Thousand Oaks.
The Missionaries take on UC Santa Barbara at 3 p.m. and George Fox at 5 p.m. in Friday matches and meet Dominican at 10:30 a.m. and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 1 p.m. in a pair of Saturday matches.