Whitworth Stays Unbeaten in NWC with 3-0 Win over Willamette

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University earned 40 kills and a .392 team attack percentage, as the Pirates remained undefeated in the Northwest Conference with a 3-0 victory over Willamette University at Cone Field House on Saturday, Sept. 24. Whitworth won 25-11, 25-19, 25-12.

The Pirates improved to 9-4 on the season, 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 5-8 overall, 2-2 in the NWC.

Whitworth was led by Kaimi Rocha, who recorded 13 kills, no attacking errors on 17 attacks, and a .765 hitting percentage. Amanda Grumbach provided the Pirates with 10 kills and a .833 hitting percentage, while Jalana White earned seven kills and hit .357.

Bree Riddle, Whitworth's setter, dished out 28 assists to go with four kills, five digs and three service aces. Whitney Santos topped the Pirates with 11 digs.

For Willamette, Kirsten Brehmer (So., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) pounded out five kills with just one error and a .364 hitting percentage. Nicole Mertens (Jr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) and Shannon Waltz (So., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra HS) each achieved four kills. Waltz had just one attacking error and hit .273 for the match.

Libero Kathy Lee Glenn (Jr., Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) supplied the Bearcats with nine digs.

Willamette held a 5-2 lead early in the first set, but the Pirates responded with an 8-0 run, including seven points with Riddle serving. The last four points of the run alternated between serving aces by Riddle and kills by Kaimi Rocha. Whitworth extended the lead to 16-7 and Willamette was never able to catch up.

The Bearcats trailed by just two points, 9-7, after 16 rallies in the second game. Whitworth went on a 7-1 run to pull out to a 16-8 advantage. The Pirates won the set, 25-19.

Whitworth took an 8-4 margin in the third set and gradually extended the lead on its way to a 25-12 win. During the set, Whitworth earned six of its 12 service aces.

Up next for Willamette is an NWC game at George Fox University on Friday, Sept. 30. Match time in Newberg, Ore., is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Whitworth University 3
Willamette University 0
Whitworth won 25-11, 25-19, 25-12
Nichole Mertens earned four kills against the Pirates.

Nichole Mertens earned four kills against the Pirates.