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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:00 pm | Fair 49º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
College Volleyball

Westmont Sweeps Biola, Continues Record Start

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Playing in front of a large and boisterous home crowd, No. 3 Westmont Volleyball continued its record-breaking year with a three game sweep of No. 13 Biola (13-7, 4-2 GSAC). It was the first time Westmont has swept the Eagles since 2000. The Warriors won the Golden State Athletic Conference match by set scores of 25-21, 25-20 and 25-22.

With the victory, Westmont improves to 17-0 on the season and 6-0 in GSAC Play.

"Our players were definitely amped for the game and were ready to compete," said Westmont head coach Patti Cook, "and compete they did."

Westmont shut down the net by producing 13 team blocks on the night in just three set. Libby Dahlberg produced three solo blocks and seven block assists while Taylor Beckman added another five block assists.

"Our middles were closing very well," said Westmont head coach Patti Cook, and our passing was great, again, as it has been all year."

Beckman, Courtney Crosby and Kami Troesh led the way in the Warriors' passing game. Troesh provided 14 service receptions and 14 digs. Beckman added 13 service receptions and nine digs. Crosby tallied 16 service receptions and three digs.

The Warriors accomplished the sweep despite having several team members under the weather.

"We had a bunch of players sick this week," said Cook. "It was nice to see them still perform under sinus pressure."

Westmont took control of the first set with an 8-2 run that gave the Warriors a 12-6 lead. Mila Maricic and Sam Neely each contributed two kills during the run while Dahlberg added one. Westmont also benefited from a block by Maricic and Neely and another by Dahlberg and Taylor. The Eagles would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.

In the second set, Westmont fell behind 11-8, prompting Cook to call timeout. Whatever she said in the team huddle must have had an effect as the Warriors scored the next seven points to take a 15-11 lead.

"That is a strength of this team," said Cook. "They can start to falter a little bit, recognize it and then pull up. They gathered themselves, regained composure and then got back to playing our game. A lot of that ability stems from our seniors and the maturity on our team. I commend our upper classmen for leading the charge and keeping our team on track."

Westmont jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, but gave back some ground to a relentless Eagles squad. Biola finally caught the Warriors at 18-all. Westmont traded points with Biola until the score reached 22-22.

A service error by Biola opened a window for the Warriors who used the opportunity to close the door. Libby Dahlberg and McGough shut the net down with a block on an attack by Alyx Dunham to give the Warriors match point. Dahlberg then ended the match with a solo block on another attack by Dunham.

Dahlberg led the way offensively for the Warriors as well, producing a team-high nine kills and a .316 attack percentage. Cook was pleased with the production of her right side hitters – Neely, Cassidy Rea and Sarah McGough – who combined for 11 kills and a .417 attack error

"Biola is very good at defending a left side attack," mentioned Cook. "They have a well formed block, they run their defense on looking for hard hitters, they are really good at picking up the tip. We knew that we were going to want to attack them from our right side."

Westmont will look to defends its unbeaten record next Saturday when it hosts the Royals of Hope International (9-5, 4-1) at seven o'clock.    

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