Westmont Volleyball (20-5, 11-3 GSAC) moved into a first place tie with Hope International (17-7, 11-3) in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings by defeating Vanguard (21-7, 10-5 on Saturday night in Murchison Gymnasium. The Warriors prevailed in four sets by scores of 25-20, 25-15, 19-25 and 26-24.
The high-energy match went Westmont’s way in the first two sets with the Warriors jumping out to substantial leads. Westmont scored nine of the first 11 points in the opening frame. When Vanguard pulled to within two at 15-13, Westmont produced a 6-1 run to keep the Lions at bay.
In the second set, the Warriors took a 10-1 lead, then never led be less than seven.
Faced with a 2-0 deficit, Vanguard rallied in the third set and never trailed.
The fourth set was the definition of a seesaw battle. The score was tied 20 times.
With the score tied at 22, Rea delivered a kill to give Westmont the lead. Brooklynn Cheney and Kendall Kenyon then combined on a block to give Westmont a 24-22 lead and its first match point. After a Vanguard-called timeout, two Warrior errors tied the game at 24-all and resulted in McGolpin calling time out herself.
Fresh off the timeout, the Warriors found themselves scrambling to deal with an offensive onslaught by the Lions. However, Westmont kept the ball off the ground long enough for Kenyon and Patty Kerman to terminate another Vanguard attack with a block, restoring the lead to the Warriors.
Once again, Vanguard called time out. When the teams returned to the floor, Cheney served a ball that was returned to the Warrior side of the net on an attack by Vanguard’s Samantha Arellano. Cheney dug the ball and Sydny Dunn set Hali Galloway on the outside.
Galloway’s attack was stopped at the net by Arellano and Grace Fonville. However, Kenyon got a hand on it and popped it in the air. Dunn was able to get underneath the ball and set it to Kerman on the right side and the junior tipped the ball down the line to the far corner and sealed the Warrior win.
“The last tip by Patti Kerman was a thing of beauty,” said McGolpin. “The three key components that we worked on all week were defense, blocking and tipping to zones.”
Westmont tallied 12 team blocks to Vanguard’s five and played scrappy defense that turned into points.
“I think we outplayed them on defense this time,” said McGolpin. “When we played at Vanguard, they paced the defense. Lauren Friis did a fabulous job of digging and on serve receive.”
The junior libero recorded 16 digs and nine serve receptions. She also tallied 13 assists.
Rea notched 16 kills to lead the Warriors and recorded five block assists. Middle blockers Lexi Malone and Kenyon each added six blocks with Malone contributing nine kills.
“Our middles stepped up in the blocking,” said McGolpin. “Kendall had blocks at some critical times.”
Cheney notched 12 kills for the Warriors and was her usual defensive powerhouse as well, recording 54 serve receptions and 21 digs.