Missonaries struggle at volleyball tournament

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TACOMA — Whitman College dropped a pair of volleyball matches to highly-ranked opponents Saturday at the Puget Sound Premier Invitational.

No. 15 Wartburg downed the Missionaries in four sets in the morning while second-ranked Calvin beat Whitman in three sets later in the day.

The Missionaries are now 0-4 after falling to Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on the tournament’s first day, Friday.

Wartburg got its second victory of the season to improve to 2-2. Calvin now sits at 4-0.

Whitman outside hitter Jillian Davis, a senior, was named to the all-tournament team as she followed up her fine showing on Friday with two more stellar matches.

Against Wartburg, Davis tallied 11 kills, one service ace and 10 digs. She had 10 kills versus Calvin. Over the four-match tournament, Davis totaled 34 kills.

In the second set Whitman fell behind early and never recovered, losing 25-16. The third set proved critical. The two teams battled back and forth until Wartburg took a 21-14 advantage.

Then the Missionaries came roaring back, closing the gap to 23-20 on an error off of a Taylor Aschenbrenner attack. But Whitman could get no closer and the Knights took the set 25-21 for a 2-1 match lead. They closed out the match with a 25-16 win in the fourth set.

Whitman got 17 and 16 assists from setters Aschenbrenner and Rachel Cline, respectively. Libero Hannah Linsenmayer added 15 digs

Second-ranked Calvin defeated the Missionaries in three-straight — the closest set being the first in which Whitman lost by just four. The set was tied at 14-all before Calvin took the lead for good on a Whitman attack error.

On Friday the Missionaries faced ninth-ranked Puget Sound and 21st-ranked Pacific Lutheran and lost in three sets in both matches.

In the opener against the Loggers, Whitman battled in the first set, taking the lead 16-14 before seeing UPS win nine of the next 13 points to win, 25-20.

In the second set, Whitman again hung with the Loggers, trailing by just one, 13-12, midway through the set, only to see the UPS rattle off a 12-7 run to take the set 25-19.

The Loggers controlled most of the third set, winning 25-15.

The afternoon contest with the Lutes saw Whitman contend early, closing the gap to 10-9 in the first set. But then PLU flexed its muscle and won the set 25-18, and proceeded to take the next two sets 25-12 and 25-13.

The Missionaries return to Walla Walla to play their first home game of the season tomorrow night as they host Walla Walla University at 6 p.m.

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