Playing in front of extended family in Nebraska, Westmont senior right side hitter Cassidy Rea put on a hitting clinic as the NAIA No. 23 Warriors volleyball team (6-2) split a pair of games against ranked opponents at the GoSarpy.com Labor Day Classic.
In the first match, Westmont posted a 3-1 win over No. 3 Grand View (Iowa). After dropping the first set 25-19, the Warriors rallied to take the next sets three by identical scores of 25-17.
“The defense improved immensely,” noted coach Ruth McGolpin. “Serve receive passing got on and, of course, Cassidy lit on fire. The setters started to connect with the middles, which was something that was lacking in the first set.”
Rea recorded 18 kills and a .400 attack percentage while also contributing four blocks.
“Cassidy was playing in front of her family,” said McGolpin. “It was like a homecoming for her. She demanded the ball and (freshman setter) Keelyn Kistner set her at good times.”
Kistner recorded 28 assists for the Warriors and contributed 14 digs.
In the second game, Westmont found itself on the opposite side of the net from the host Bruins of Bellevue (7-2), the event host. Rea led the team again with 14 kills and a .324 attack percentage, but the Warriors lost 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18).
“It was reminiscent of the Embry-Riddle match for us,” offered McGolpin. “Their outside hitters did a number on us. We did a really good job of passing with the two-man serve receive. Brooklynn Cheney was absolutely amazing in the back row. They served her probably 75 percent of the time. They kept at it, which was surprising, and she was so steady and a rock-solid player.”
Over the two matches, Cheney tallied 76 serve receptions with just one error (.987) and added 27 digs. Friis recorded 29 serve receptions without an error and 36 digs.
“This isn’t a sprint, it is a long haul,” said McGolpin. “We wanted to play these games in Nebraska so we will be strong in the GSAC. Hopefully, we will learn from this game and come out tomorrow and be a better team.”