ALISO VIEJO — After a regular season in which they clinched their sixth consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament, the Westmont volleyball team has received a trio of honors from the Golden State Athletic Conference. Lexi Malone, Phoebe Minch, and Jessie Terlizzi have all been named to the 2021 All-GSAC team.
After receiving NAIA All-American honors a season ago, Malone missed the first 12 games of the season while rehabilitating an injury. When she got back on the court, she quickly regained form.
Malone collected 190 kills in 18 matches, averaging 2.57 kills per set with a team-best attack percentage of .283. While playing in only 74 of a possible 123 sets during the regular season, Malone still led the club in total blocks with 83.
This is the second year in a row that Malone, a junior middle, has received All-GSAC honors.
“She is just a stud,” said Westmont head coach Ruth McGolpin. “Even when she doesn’t get her kills, she forces teams to follow her and that allows her teammates to put points on the board. I always call that getting half of an assist or a half of a kill.
“Lexi has been a force to be reckoned with since arriving as a freshman and she is extremely deserving of this honor.”
Minch, a sophomore outside hitter, receives All-GSAC honors for the first time after being the Warriors’ most dependable option on both sides of the ball. Minch was second on the club in total kills with 274, and led the club in kills per set with 2.74. She also recorded a team-high 48 service aces, which is 16 more than the next-highest Warrior.
Defensively, Minch was third on the club with a receiving percentage of .941, and second on the club in total digs with 325, averaging 3.25 per set. Minch also pitched in with 29 blocks.
“Phoebe has played banged up for, basically, the final third of the season,” McGolpin said. “For her to still put on a performance worthy of this honor while nursing a few injuries says a lot about her. She’s a rare player who has been both GSAC Attacker and Defender of the Week.
“She has put in the work all season and we are excited to have her back on Saturday.”
Terlizzi, also a sophomore outside hitter, received All-GSAC honors for the second consecutive season. Terlizzi was a workhorse for the Warriors during the regular season, being one of only two members on the team to appear in all 123 sets.
Terlizzi was a force at the net, both offensively and defensively, as she led the club with a total of 329 kills while also tallying 65 blocks. Terlizzi finished the regular season with a kills per set average of 2.67 and also tallied 13 service aces on the year.
“Last year, Jessie got this award as an opposite, and this season she got it as an outside hitter,” pointed out McGolpin. “From an attacking standpoint, Jessie has been extremely versatile and then when Phoebe went down, she stepped up and played back row. I’m stoked for her to get recognized.”
After receiving one of the GSAC’s two automatic bids into the NAIA Opening Round, Westmont will make the trip up to Klamath Falls to take on the Oregon Tech Owls this Saturday night.
“We’re super excited,” McGolpin said. “It’s in a cold environment and it’s a long trip but we’re stoked on the draw and excited to get after it.”
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.