Westmont Women’s Volleyball came out on top in a five-set battle with Academy of Art while Women’s Soccer ended in a scoreless draw against Azusa Pacifica.
Women’s Volleyball 3, Academy of Art 2
Less than 24 hours after collecting Westmont’s first PacWest win the Westmont Volleyball team officially began a winning streak, this time defeating the Academy of Art Knights in five sets.
Westmont took the first two sets of the afternoon, but after dropping the third and fourth, Westmont was forced to play with the game hanging in the balance in a decisive fifth game.
In the fifth set, however, the Warriors regained control and pulled away to solidify their match win.
“In terms of distance, it was a tough trip,” Westmont head coach Ruth McGolpin said. “The goal was to get out of here with two wins, and we did just that. Today, the highlight was our blocking as a unit. We out-blocked them 22-8.”
Individually, Nariah Prescott led the Warriors with 15 kills, while Taylor Distelberg and Phoebe Minch each collected 13 of their own.
Distelberg was also phenomenal on the defensive end, where she posted a game-high nine blocks. Elsewhere, Ella Hosfeld led Westmont with 29 assists, while Kai Hashimoto led all players with 18 digs.
“A difference was Taylor hitting out of the middle and our two right sides, Sara Krueger and Nariah Prescott, were great as well,” McGolpin said. “I also thought Kai did a great job anchoring the defense and our serving as well. Malia de Jesus’s serving was excellent also.”
In the first set, the Warriors and the Knights fought to a 17-17 tie, before Westmont came out with a seven-point run to change the game.
A pair of kills from Distelberg bookended the run that also included finishes from Minch and Prescott. Moments after the seven-point swing, another kill from Minch propelled Westmont to a 25-18 win to open the match.
Westmont scored the first four points of the second set, and nine of the first 11, in a game they never trailed. A service ace from Malia de Jesus pushed Westmont’s second-set advantage to 11 at 18-7, which was the largest lead of the match at any point.
In the end, a block from Krueger and Distelberg capped off a dominating 25-15 win that put the Warriors up 2-0.
In set three Westmont and Art U were knotted at 12 before the Knights recorded three-consecutive kills to go up 15-12. Westmont would never again tie the set as Art U maintained their distance for a 25-20 win.
In set four, the Knights carried their momentum to an 11-5 lead early with a fifth set in sight. Westmont clawed back and tied the game at 15 following a kill from Prescott, but immediately after, the Knights scored four-straight points to go back up 19-15.
In the end, a kill from Art U’s Chandra Reed gave the Knights a 25-18 win to force a fifth set.
The two sides were tied 3-3 early in the fifth set before back-to-back kills by Prescott and Distelberg allowed Westmont to jump in front.
Art U stayed within a pair for a handful of possessions, but minutes later, a kill from setter Alexa Shiner sent Westmont into double-digits with a 10-6 advantage.
With the score 12-9, a pair of kills from Jessie Terlizzi and a match-ending kill from Prescott gave the Warriors a 15-9 win, a 3-2 match victory and a happy ride home.
“It was a tough crowd,” McGolpin said. “But it was a really fun crowd to play in front of. We were happy to walk out of there with a win. We have another tough week ahead, and we’re excited to keep going.”
The Warriors return to action on Saturday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m. when they’ll travel to play at Fresno Pacific.
Women’s Soccer 0, Azusa Pacific 0
Westmont Women’s Soccer went head-to-head with PacWest rival Azusa Pacific on Saturday night, in what was a non-conference battle before next week’s PacWest openers.
The APU defense did not allow Westmont much room to work with around their 18, and on the other side of the pitch, Westmont’s hands were full for the majority of play.
Thanks to four saves from Maya Pablos, and stellar efforts from Taylie Scott and Shayna Stock, the Warriors were able to escape Azusa Pacific with a 0-0 draw.
“I want the focus of today’s story to be on the defending piece of our game,” Westmont head coach Jenny Jaggard said. “I watched all of Azusa’s other games this week, and they were running circles around teams with their passing combinations.
“We completely shut that down today. Where we grew today, was in our defensive organization. We were so good in the middle and back third against a team that’s extremely dangerous.
“The way APU moves the ball is better than any Division II team I’ve seen all year. The way we were able to shut that down today made me super happy.”
The first 45 minutes of the contest saw neither side put up a single shot on goal, with Westmont only posting a single shot of any kind. In the eighth minute, Amarys Machado let one fly towards the goal, but well to the right of the post without threatening the goal line.
On the other side of the field, Azusa Pacific had three shots during the half and threatened multiple times in the final 15 minutes of the period.
In the 33rd minute, APU’s Katie O’Brien had a look at Maya Pablos but hooked her shot left. Then, three minutes later, the Cougars had the half’s most dangerous opportunity.
Azusa Pacific’s Angela Cipriano came the closest of any player to putting a shot on frame, but after being given a clean look at Westmont’s net, Cipriano rocked a shot that smacked the crossbar.
Fortunately for Westmont, the deflection did not bounce into harm’s way and the defense was able to survive the possession, and the final 10 minutes of the half, keeping the game 0-0.
In the second half, APU had a shot within 30 seconds of kickoff, but luckily for Westmont, the attempt soared north of the high post. Five minutes later, however, the Cougars were the first of the two teams to fire a shot on frame.
Avery Guiel’s first attempt in Westmont’s box was blocked by a Westmont defender, but on the ricochet, Guiel darted the ball toward the center of the net.
Pablos was able to snare the 51st-minute shot, keeping the game knotted at zero with the day’s first save.
Three minutes later Pablos was challenged by Guiel again, this time when the Cougar followed a long pass into the left side of the six-yard box.
With Guiel and Pablos converging, the Cougar shot high this time, but once again, Pablos was able to swat it away for her second save.
The 69th minute saw Westmont almost concede once again when O’Brien was the next Cougar to have a go at Pablos, but once again, APU’s shot flew directly into the hands of Westmont’s keeper.
With just under 10 minutes to play the Cougars sent another long ball into the box, this time finding an open Guiel on a run. Guiel was the last Cougar to have a go at Pablos, but once more, the ball found the gloves of Pablos.
Nine more minutes came and went without the Cougars coming away with another opportunity, giving Pablos and the Westmont defense a well-earned shutout.
Offensively, the Warriors would end the match being credited with just one shot on goal, which, unfortunately, was an attempt that did not truly threaten Azusa Pacific’s backline.
“Breaking through their midfield was the hardest part,” Jaggard said. “We honestly just missed really good opportunities today. It’s a piece of our game that we just have to get better at because we had them so exposed at certain points.
“We just weren’t dangerous, and we need to keep working at it. We broke things down at the end, and if we had any quality shots we could’ve changed that game.
“We know how to beat teams like this, but now it’s just a matter of developing a few more players that can make the right decisions in that final third.”
The Warriors will return to action on Saturday, September 30, at 7:00 p.m., when they travel to La Mirada to battle Biola in the program’s first PacWest game.