Volleyball splits, now in second place in GSAC

Tim Heiduk, Sports Editor

The No. 17 Westmont women’s volleyball team split its two GSAC road matches last week, dropping to second place in the conference. The Warriors lost in four sets against Hope International on Friday (23-25, 18-25, 25-23, 20-25) before sweeping Life Pacific on Saturday (25-20, 25-17, 25-22).

Westmont entered Friday’s matchup with Hope International a half-game ahead of the Royals in the GSAC standings, with the winner assured of first place in the conference. Things started brightly enough for the Warriors, who took an early 7-4 lead, but the Royals turned things around to go ahead 23-17. Westmont fought back to within 23-24, but Hope International recorded the next point to win the first set.

The second set went back and forth for a while, with the score tied 13-13. But the Royals got going again late, rallying off five straight points to go ahead 18-13 before eventually winning the set 25-18.

The Warriors bounced back to win the third set, 25-23, but after almost blowing a 19-12 lead. Hope International fought back to tie the set 20-20 and even took a 23-22 lead, but Westmont won the next three points to win the set, 25-23.

Westmont was down 16-21 in the fourth set, but scored four points in a row to get within one. However, Hope International went on its own four-point run to seal the set and the match, 25-20.

Cassidy Rea led the Warriors with 25 kills, while Hali Galloway (13) and Brooklynn Cheney (11) also recorded double-digit kills. Keelyn Kistner tallied 35 assists.

Cheney led the defense with 44 digs, while Lauren Friis and Kistner each contributed 25. Kendall Kenyon led the team with six blocks.

On Saturday, the Warriors bounced back with a three-set sweep of Life Pacific. With the win, the Warriors remained a half-game behind Hope International, and with the help of other results, sit in second place by themselves.

Rea once again led the team offensively, recording 11 kills. Kistner recorded 20 assists, while Sydny Dunn added 15. Cheney tallied 20 digs, while Friis had 17 and Dunn 13. Lexi Malone led the way with five blocks.

The team returns to action this weekend with two home matches, first on Friday against San Diego Christian and then on Saturday versus Vanguard. Both matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.