In control of its own destiny entering Thursday’s match, the Westmont women’s volleyball team made sure not to squander the opportunity, making quick work of Xavier (La.) on the third day of pool play, winning in three sets to advance to the 16-team championship bracket.
The Warriors (28-7) won by set scores of 25-21, 25-17, 25-17 to wrap up pool play 2-1. Additionally, this is also the fourth straight year the Warriors have advanced to the championship bracket.
Middle blocker Lexi Malone was a beast on Thursday for Westmont, leading all scorers with 16 kills while hitting at a season-high clip of .583.
Senior outside hitter Cassidy Rea was also a force on the offensive end with 12 kills while junior outside hitter Hali Galloway connected for six kills.
As a team, the Warriors were dominant posting a hitting percentage of .262 while limiting the Gold Nuggets to a .088 clip.
Westmont setters Keelyn Kistner and Sydny Dunn combined to dish out 38 successful sets with the former tallying 26 and the latter adding 12.
Brooklynn Cheney and Lauren Friis led the defensive effort for the Warriors with Cheney tallying 12 digs and Friis 10.
Overall, the Warriors simply dominated the match. They never trailed in the first or second sets.
In the first set, Westmont jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never let its lead get below two points.
In the second game, the Warriors again raced out to a quick lead at 4-0 and would eventually build their lead to as high as 10 with a 19-9 advantage.
In the final frame, Westmont trailed 2-1 but then used a 10-4 run to jump back out in front 11-6 and never looked back from there.
With the sweep, Westmont emerged as the winner of Pool H thanks to some help from Columbia (Mo.).
The Cougars swept Jamestown (N.D.) meaning that they finished with 2-1 record in Pool H alongside Westmont.
However, because the Warriors swept both Columbia and Xavier and took a set from Jamestown, they had the best match record at 7-3.
This means Westmont advanced to the Round of 16 as the top team from the Pool and will face No. 7 Eastern Oregon (31-4) at 7 a.m. today.
Eastern Oregon became the second-place team out of Pool G after losing in five sets to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Thursday.