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Volleyball: No. 3 Concordia Rallies to Beat Westmont

The Warriors jump to an early lead and win the first set, but the Eagles take the next three.

The Westmont College volleyball team jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first set against third-ranked Concordia (17-2, 6-1 GSAC) and used the momentum to post a 25-22 victory. But the Eagles came back strong and took the next three sets 25-15, 25-16, 25-16 to claim the win in the Golden State Athletic Conference match at Murchison Gymnasium. Westmont fell to 7-11 overall and 1-6 in conference play.

“I thought we played really well in the first set,” Westmont head coach Jim Smoot said. “We were very aggressive and we served tough. After that, we got a little frantic and got ahead of ourselves. But I’m so proud of how the players fought tonight.”

Freshman middle blocker Sami Miller led the way for the Warriors with 12 kills, while junior right side hitter Stephanie Dunn added another 10. Freshman setter Kailee Blair tallied 36 assists, while junior libero Erin Dohm notched 22 digs and 16 serve receptions. Freshman defensive specialist Stacey Braceros contributed 23 service receptions and 13 digs.

The Warriors got a boost from freshman outside hitter Kate Barton, who entered the match in the third set. Barton connected on three of eight attack attempts while posting a hitting percentage of .250. She also tallied three digs and three serve receptions.

“I think we will have to give a strong look at Kate getting some more playing time,” Smoot said.

The Eagles were led by outside hitters Tracie Weamer (17 digs) and Stephanie Scheele (10 digs).

Westmont was playing without sophomore outside hitter Alison Sharp, who has led the team in kills the last two matches. She suffered an injury on Saturday, and may be out for the rest of the season but will certainly miss the next few matches.

Adding insult to injury, junior Jenise DeBie went down in the third set of Tuesday’s game and could not return. The nature and extent of her injuries are not yet known. Westmont is also without the service of junior Laura Trudelle, who was injured seven matches into the Warriors’ season.

“With so many injuries, it feels like we get punched, we get back up, we get knocked down again,” Smoot said. “They say that sport provides life lessons. We’re getting one you don’t want to live through and it is a difficult one to handle. But I think the team is handling it great. I am very proud of them for the way they keep battling under adverse conditions.”

Westmont’s next match will be at home against Hope International (4-8, 1-5 GSAC) on Saturday. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

No. 3 Concordia vs Westmont (Tuesday at Santa Barbara)
Concordia def. Westmont 22-25,25-15,25-16,25-16

  Concordia (16-2, 5-1 GSAC) (Kills-aces-blocks) — WEAMER, Traci 17-3-0;
  SCHEELE, Stephanie 10-0-4; DOUGLAS, Christine 8-4-4; RUSSO, Serrina
  6-0-1; SCHADE, Bailey 5-0-5; FRIEDRICH, Jamie 2-0-0; ELLS, Cassie
  1-1-1; EVANS, Lauren 1-0-3; PERRY, Vanessa 0-1-0; SCOTT, Chelsea
  0-2-0; Totals 50-11-9.0. (Assists) - FRIEDRICH, Jenna 21; ALLEN,
  Lauren 15. (Dig leaders) — SCOTT, Chelsea 18; WEAMER, Traci 15; RUSSO,
  Serrina 8; FRIEDRICH, Jenna 8

  Westmont (7-10, 1-5 GSAC) (Kills-aces-blocks) — MILLER, Samantha
  12-0-4; DUNN, Stephanie 10-0-2; WIDICUS, Beth 8-2-0; DeBIE, Jenise
  5-0-2; BARTON, Kate 3-0-3; NYHOFF, Anna 2-0-1; BLAIR, Kailee 1-1-0;
  DOHM, Erin 0-2-0; Totals 41-5-6.0. (Assists) - BLAIR, Kailee 36. (Dig
  leaders) — DOHM, Erin 22; BRACEROS, Stacey 13; WIDICUS, Beth 9

  Referees: Rick Olmstead, Arnie Tolks, Egan Arneson

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