FULLERTON — Westmont (10-7, 4-2) got back on track Saturday, sweeping Hope International (4-10, 0-5) to snap a short two-game losing streak.
The Warriors volleyball team was in control all night long, winning the match by a score of 25-14, 25-18 and 25-6.
“What made me most proud is how we came out with a sense of urgency,” said Westmont head coach Ruth McGolpin. “Tonight (Saturday) we looked composed and fired up to play from the start, and that’s the effort we’re going to need every night from here on out.”
The clubs began the first set in an 8-8 tie before a kill by Sara Krueger and two kills from Phoebe Minch gave Westmont an 11-8 advantage. Later, consecutive kills by Audrey Brown built the lead to 15-10, and two kills from Jessie Terlizzi built it to 18-12.
Eventually, an attacking error by Hope International gave Westmont the 25-14 win to open the night. The Warriors did not commit a single service or reception error during the opening set.
Lexi Malone’s fourth kill of the match gave Westmont a 6-2 lead to start the second set. From there, the lead continued to expand. Minch’s sixth kill of the match stretched the lead to 12-5, and later her eighth kill stretched it even further to 16-8.
Terlizzi’s eighth kill widened the lead to 20-12, before Brown’s seventh made it 21-13. The Warriors spread the wealth in the second set, and ultimately won the game 25-18 on Terlizzi’s ninth finish of the night.
At the end of two sets, the Warriors had 34 kills in 75 attempts, making for a .320 attack percentage.
“I told the setters that we needed to diversify the offense,” noted McGolpin, “and when you look at the box score, we did just that. We showed a little bit more of a complex offense and our outside hitters were tearing it up.”
In the third set, everything fell the Warriors’ way. The score was already 8-0 in favor of Westmont by the time that Hope International took their first timeout, and the stoppage did little to slow down the Warriors.
Westmont led 11-0 before a Royals kill got the home team on the board. After the score was 12-4 in favor of Westmont, the Warriors went on another 11-0 run to take a 23-4 advantage. In the end, Minch’s game-high 14th kill of the match gave the Warriors a 25-7 win in set three and a clean sweep over Hope International.
At the end of the night, Westmont recorded 48 kills with an attack percentage of .337, while the Warriors held Hope International to 19 kills in 107 attempts.
While Minch led the club in kills, Terlizzi was able to join her in double-digits with 11 of her own.
“Jessie had that look in her eye tonight,” McGolpin said. “We recruited her not just because she has a fast arm swing, but because she’s a gamer. It’s that grit and willingness to do whatever it takes that makes her different. She was like that for us all last year, and we’re going to need it night in and night out.”
Defensively, Lilian Reininga led the way with 18 digs, while Brown and Malone both recorded five blocks each. Krueger also recorded three blocks.
“Lilian has done a fantastic job in that role,” said McGolpin. “She’s giving us positional versatility, and it’s not going unnoticed. We knew they were primarily going to be feeding the same areas and our guys were ready for it at the net. They’re a good-sized team, and we still did a really good job at shutting their outside hitters down.”
After a four-game road trip, the Warriors finally return home Friday night when they welcome William Jessup into Murchison Gym. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m., and tickets are available at athletics.westmont.edu.
“We knew September was going to be grueling,” McGolpin said. “We have nine home matches left as opposed to just four away matches moving forward. Anything can happen in GSAC, so we just need to keep our head above water and keep grinding every day.”
Jacob Norling is the Westmont College sports information assistant.