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College Volleyball

Westmont Regains Mojo After Long Break, Sweeps NAIA Opener

Top-seeded Westmont shook off the rust of a 24-day layoff and opened the NAIA Women's Volleyball National Championship with a sweep over Indiana University, Kokomo on Tuesday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

The Warriors fought off Kokomo in the first set, 29-27, before rolling to 25-13, 25-17 victories to close out the match.

Westmont, the only unbeaten team in the NAIA at 32-0, hadn't played a match since beating Hope International in the Golden State Athletic Conference finale on Nov. 5.

A kill by Nicole Sandman gave Kokomo a 27-26 lead, and Kokomo had a swing for the set victory. But Westmont's defense forced an attack error and Kokomo committed another error to give the Warriors a 28-27 advantage. Lindsay Paulo put away the final point for a 29-27 win. Paulo had two kills on two attempts in the set.

After that narrow escape, the Warriors took control of the match. They jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the second set and boosted their advantage to 20-10. In the third set, they went on a 6-0 run to take a 19-10 lead.

Taylor Beckman recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs, middle Libby Dahlberg cracked 10 kills, hit .348 and had three block assists. Samantha Neely added nine kills and hit .421. Libero Kami Troesh was outstanding, picking up 20 digs.

Lindi Thomas had 10 kills to lead Kokomo (27-8), which hit just .043 as a team. Westmont's team percentage was .240

Westmont continues pool play on Wednesday against Columbia, Mo., and Indiana Wesleyan.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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