Missionaries net win over 'Cats

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WALLA WALLA — With Matt Helm coaching his first game at Sherwood Center Friday night, the Whitman volleyball team delivered its most impressive victory of the season against Northwest Conference foe Willamette University.

“I was a little nervous at first, but I was more happy for my players,” Helm said of his first reaction to the 27-25, 25-20, 25-18 sweep of the Bearcats. “I really wanted to win for them.”

The Missionaries overcame some early nerves with a consistent offensive attack and a supportive crowd. Junior Jillian Davis recorded 15 kills and seniors Olivia Nielson and Courtney Brewer were close behind with eight and seven kills, respectively.

But Helm was equally impressed with his team’s depth.

“When we brought players off the bench, I think there was a huge impact on the momentum of the game,” he said. “They really came in and performed at a very high level, and I think that’s something that won’t show up in the stats that had a huge impact on the game.”

The victory leveled the Missionaries’ league record at 2-2. Whitman is 4-7 overall and returns to action this weekend with NWC games at George Fox Friday in Newberg, Ore., and at Lewis & Clark Saturday in Portland.

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