The No. 17 Westmont Warriors volleyball team squared up with the defending GSAC champions The Master’s University on Saturday, with the Warriors looking for another sweep of the Mustangs.
Westmont jumped out to an early 3-0 first-set lead. The Mustangs’ solid attacks kept the first set close, but a Lexi Malone kill led to a six-point run for the Warriors, making the score 17-10. They continued to ride the momentum as Cassidy Rea later gave Westmont a 22-12 lead. The Warriors closed out the set, 25-17, on a Patty Kerman kill.
However, the Warriors came out slowly in the second by giving the Mustangs the first six points of the set, four of which were on attacking errors. Westmont clawed its way back from its early deficit, but they could not gain the lead. Down 16-24, Hali Galloway saved two set points with back-to-back kills, and then three more set points were saved. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the Mustangs finished the second set, 21-25.
The third set featured streaky play from both teams as Westmont took the first four points and The Master’s seized the next five points. After that, neither team gave an inch. Westmont took a 15-12 lead following a Mustangs error, but The Master’s bounced back with its second five-point run, giving them a 15-17 lead. Later, an attacking error gave The Master’s a 21-24 advantage. Cheney followed up with a kill to save the first set point and Rea saved the second. Keelyn Kistner set up Cheney again for her fourth kill of the set before Rea tallied another kill to give Westmont a 25-24 lead in the set. After a service and attack error by the Warriors, the Mustangs clinched set three.
Westmont would have to force a fifth set to win again, but the fourth set stood in its way. After going down 0-3 to start the set, Galloway tied the set up at 4 with one of her 11 kills. The Master’s took a 4-7 lead, but Westmont ran off with the next four points. With more lead changes, Rea got another kill to tie the score at 11, but then the Warriors found themselves on the wrong side of a 5-0 run. Westmont continued to fight an uphill battle and came within two points, but two attacking errors and two Mustang aces gave The Master’s six match points. Four of the match points were saved, but the Westmont defense could not save a fifth match point, allowing The Master’s to avenge its previous defeat to Westmont, 25-17, 21-25, 25-27, 22-25.
Despite the loss, the Warriors stayed in first place in the GSAC. They now hit the road to play Hope International on Friday and Life Pacific on Saturday.