Westmont Volleyball (11-3, 5-1 GSAC) capped off their three-match week with another win on Saturday afternoon, this time against the visiting Menlo Oaks. After sweeping Hope International on Tuesday, and beating William Jessup in five on Friday, the Warriors swept the Oaks to capture their third win of the week.
“That was a tough week,” said Westmont head coach Ruth McGolpin. “That was a lot of games in a short span, dating back to last weekend in Arizona. We’ll take tomorrow off and regroup on Monday. For this week, we got the job done.”
In the first set, Menlo hung with Westmont early, taking a 12-11 lead into double-digits. Then, kills from Lexi Malone and Keelyn Kistner bookended a 5-0 run that gave the Warriors a 16-12 lead, the largest of the set so far.
Out of a Menlo timeout, Westmont scored four of the next six points, causing the Oaks to use their final timeout as the Warriors’ lead grew to 20-14. Eventually, the Warriors finished off the first set with Sara Krueger’s second kill to win it 25-17.
A highlight of the first set was the red-hot hitting of Taylor Distelberg, who recorded five kills in seven attempts.
Set two saw the sides remain close into double-figures again, with a kill from Phoebe Minch giving the Warriors a 10-9 advantage. The Warriors scored on back-to-back players after Minch’s kill, but the Oaks followed with a three-point run of their own to tie the set at 12.
Tied at 12, kills from Jessie Terlizzi, Ashley Boswell, and Malone highlighted a 4-1 run that gave the Warriors a 16-13 run going into a Menlo timeout.
Distelberg’s sixth kill of the set pushed Westmont’s lead to 21-17, forcing Menlo to once again call their final timeout. Following the stoppage, Menlo’s 15th attacking error of the match finished off a 25-20 win that put Westmont up 2-0.
Distelberg’s seventh kill ended an 8-2 run for the Warriors that led to an early timeout for the Oaks in the third set. The two teams traded points for several minutes, which was good news for Westmont who maintained their multi-point advantage with ease.
Menlo called their final timeout at 18-10, following a kill from Kistner, but it did little to stop the Warriors who steadily marched to 25. In the end, Malone’s match-high 13th kill brought an end to a 25-16 win, and a sweep of the Menlo Oaks.
Kistner led the Warriors with 20 assists, Minch led the team with 14 digs, and Krueger led the team with four blocks. Overall, Westmont out-killed Menlo 38-28, while holding the Oaks to a .050 attack percentage.
“One of our ‘go big goals’ of the week was to control our side of the net,” said McGolpin. “We definitely did that in all three matches this week. I thought our outsides were dynamic and got kills when they needed to, but the story of the day was our middles.
“Our middles were unstoppable with Lexi hitting at .800 and Taylor hitting at .600. We have to continue to establish our middles, and our setters need to continue to trust our middles.”
McGolpin continued, “We served really well and kept them out of system the majority of the match. That was good on our part to keep them consistently out of sync.”
Westmont returns to action next Friday night at 6 p.m. in La Mesa, where they’ll take on the San Diego Christian Hawks. On Saturday, Westmont returns home to host Life Pacific at 7 p.m.
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.