Whitman netters end losing streak

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PORTLAND ­— The Missionaries got a season-high nine kills from Franny Gardner and broke a five-match losing streak as Whitman College notched a 3-0 victory over Lewis & Clark Friday night on the road in a Northwest Conference matchup.

The victory comes in the first match of the second half of the season and improves the Missionaries’ conference mark to 4-5 with their overall record, now, at 6-16.

“It was great to implement what we worked on in practice during the match,” Whitman head coach Matt Helm said.

Gardner was joined in the scoring parade by newcomer Natalia Zea, who had season-high with eight kills, as did senior Jillian Davis.

In the first set, after the teams traded points early, Whitman got out to a 19-13 lead when Gardner put down a kill on an assist from Rachel Cline.

The Pioneers drew to within one point at 24-23 when the Missionaries committed an attack error. L & C made its own attack error on the ensuing point, allowing Whitman to take the set.

The first set was as competitive as the night would get. The Missionaries eased out to a 14-7 lead in the second set on a service ace from Davis and never looked back, stretching their advantage to 10 at 21-11, before taking the set 25-15 —­ the set-winning point coming on a service ace from Becca Gotz.

In the third set, Whitman jumped out to a 15-3 lead on a kill by Davis. The Pioneers battled back to cut it to 15-8, but a kill by Megan Bafus stemmed the tide and the Missionaries surrendered just three points the rest of the way, winning the set 25-11.

The victory provides a 2-0 season sweep for the Missionaries over the Pioneers, as Whitman defeated L & C 3-1 at Sherwood Athletic Center on Sept. 20th.

Whitman played at Willamette Saturday evening.

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