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

Westmont Volleyball Splits Pair at Hope Summer Slam

Middle blocker Libby Dahlberg tallied 25 kills over two matches as Westmont Volleyball started off the 2018 season by splitting two matches Wednesday at the Hope International Summer Slam in Fullerton.

The Warriors lost in five sets to Rocky Mountain (Mont.) in the afternoon match by scores of 25-18, 24-26, 18-25, 27-25, 15-8 before sweeping Benedictine (Ariz.) in the evening match (25-8, 25-16, 25-21).

"I felt like we underperformed in the first match," said Westmont head coach Patti Cook. "It was a game we could have won if we had taken care of a few more things. It is frustrating when you lose to a team that you know you can beat."

Rocky Mountain recorded 16 blocks during the match.

"Rocky Mountain has always been a solid blocking team and that was the case this year as well," said Cook. "We were swinging a bit blindly. Once we started to use our wrists more, it was helpful. They were picking everything up and forcing us to hit in ways we weren't comfortable. They were amazing on defense."

Dahlberg tallied 16 kills over the five sets while outside hitter Hali Galloway notched 12. Right side hitters Samantha Neely and Cassidy Rea each added 10 more as did outside hitter Brooklynn Cheney.

Despite the outcome, Cook was pleased with the performance of some of her new players who saw their first collegiate action today.

"Our freshman got a lot of experience at a high level," said Cook. "I can't recreate that in practices, so, it is nice to get to our first match and let them see the level that we need to play at and succeed at. I was proud of the job they did.

"I was impressed by (middle blocker) Kaylee Ivie's game. She really turned it on come game time. I was impressed with her blocking and she got a lot of good swings on the ball. She became an option in the middle for us and eliminated some errors. And it was her birthday today.

"I liked what I saw out of (setter) Sydny Dunn as well. We dabbled with a 5-1 (offense) but for the most part we ran a 6-2 today. For a freshman setter stepping in she was cool as a cucumber and did what she needed to do. She dished out some nice sets. I was impressed with her composure on the court. 

"We finished out the second game with a 5-1. The main reason was that I thought we needed a little more captain leadership on the court."

In the three-set match against Benedictine, Dahlberg and Neely produced nine kills each while Cheney added eight more.

"In our second match, we played with a lot more confidence," asserted Cook. "Nerves were a lot less of a factor in the second match than in our first."

"Cassidy went out with an injury half way through our second match. It's looking pretty 'ouchie' for her, so we are going to have make some moves in our line-up tomorrow and find a way to win."

The Warriors will play two more matches tomorrow. At noon, Westmont is scheduled to take on #24 Northwest (Wash.). Then at noon, the Warriors will face off against seventh-ranked College of Idaho.

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