SPOKANE, Wash. – Visiting Puget Sound handed Whitworth its first Northwest Conference volleyball loss of the season in five sets on Friday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse. The Loggers bounced back from a poor first set to win 13-25, 26-24, 25-21, 20-25, 15-9.
Whitworth (10-5 overall, 4-1 NWC) looked like it might run away with the match after winning the opening set 25-13. The Pirates served six service aces, including three by Erin White, and got four kills from Jessica Schmautz. Meanwhile the Loggers had more errors (7) than kills (5) for a negative hitting percentage (-.111).
But Puget Sound (7-6 overall, 4-1 NWC) shrugged off the first set and took a quick lead in the second. UPS opened up a 17-12 advantage on Samantha Johnson's kill before Whitworth rallied to tie the set at 21 on a kill from White. The young Loggers did not panic and eventually claimed the second set 26-24 on another kill from Johnson. After struggling offensively in the first set, Puget Sound hit .333 in the second frame.
The third set played out much like the second. The Loggers led most of the way before Whitworth rallied to tie it 21-21 on a block from Iris Tikhonov and Schmautz. Unfazed, Puget Sound scored the final four points to claim the third game 25-21. Isabella Bean's kill was the set-winner.
Whitworth seemed to regain control in the fourth set. The Pirates used a 9-2 run to take a 21-14 lead on a block from Madison Douglas and Elise Anderson. Whitworth eventually won the set 25-20 on a Schmautz kill and the team hit .300 in the frame.
The final set looked like it might come down to a tight finish when White's fourth ace of the night tied it 9-9. But Puget Sound scored the final six points to win the match. The Loggers got two aces, two blocks and two kills by Alli Reviglio in the final 6-0 run.
Schmautz finished with match-highs of 20 kills and 15 digs, while Emiko Kahler added 14 kills and Douglas had ten. White had 45 assists as Whitworth hit .192.
Sarah Blumenfield totaled 13.5 points to lead Puget Sound with six kills, six aces and three block assists. She also had 12 digs. Reviglio and Johnson led the Loggers in kills with eight each. Puget Sound hit .189 as a team and finished with 10 blocks (1 solo, 18 block assists).
Whitworth will need to bounce back quickly as 9th-ranked Pacific Lutheran (12-1 overall, 5-0 NWC) comes into the Fieldhouse on Saturday night.