WVB: Westmont falls in four against Vanguard

Despite 16 kills from Madison Serrano and 12 from Ciara Turner, No.14 Westmont Volleyball (20-8, 6-7 GSAC) dropped a Golden State Athletic Conference match to 10th-ranked Vanguard on Tuesday night at Murchison Gymnasium. The Warriors fell in four sets 25-18, 25-23, 13-25, 25-19.

“We were not ready to play in the first two sets,” acknowledged Westmont head coach Patti Cook. “Sometimes we can get a little bit too caught up in the game plan and forget to play the game. We were making some uncharacteristic errors. I felt like our effort was good at the end and I liked how we finished. But you can’t have 29 (attack) errors and expect to beat a team like Vanguard.”

Westmont fell behind 12-4 to start the first set, committing seven errors in the first 16 rallies. The eight-point deficit proved too much for the Warriors to overcome.

The second set did not start off much better as the Lions roared out to a 7-2 start with Westmont committing five errors in the first nine plays. However, Westmont responded with an 8-3 run to tie the set at 10.

Vanguard scored the next three points, all on Westmont errors, and held the lead until a kill by Marie Trudelle tied the game at 21. Vanguard’s Jessica Chase (8 kills) and Rachel Barker (12 kills) delivered back-to-back kills to put the Lions in front 23-21 before Westmont’s Kayta Goyich brought the Warriors to within one with a kill from the right side.

Another attack by Goyich was blocked, giving the Lions set point at 24-22. Turner delivered a kill to make it a 24-23 game before setter Heidi Thompson (32 assists) was called for a double hit when she attempted to salvage an errant pass.

The third set belonged to the Warriors who hit .400 and made only three attack errors in the frame. Turner and Serrano combined for 10 of the teams 17 kills in the third set. With the score tied at five, Westmont closed out the set with an impressive a 20-8 run.

The fourth set lived up to the billing of two top-15 teams. From 3-3 to 14-14, the score differential remained within one point. However, the tide turned with a 7-0 Lion’s run that resulted in a 21-14 score and proved to be the Warriors’ undoing. Westmont pulled to within three on back-to-back kills by Jessica McCann (4 kills), but it was not enough to overcome Vanguard’s advantage.

With one game to play in the regular season, the Warriors find themselves in fifth place in the GSAC standings, one game behind #16 The Master’s (18-8, 7-6) in fourth place and two games ahead of sixth place San Diego Christian (6-21, 4-9).

Westmont will close out the 2013 regular season by hosting Hope International (5-20, 1-11) at seven o’clock on Saturday. The match will be preceded by honoring the seniors in their final home game of the regular season.

Saturday’s match, however, is not expected to be the last time the seniors play on Kammerer Court. Westmont expects to receive an at-large berth in the NAIA National Tournament and to host a first round tournament game on November 23. The national tournament field and first round pairings will be announced on Sunday, November 17