Freshman impresses in Westmont volleyball debut

The Westmont Women’s volleyball team made its 2014 season debut Monday and dropped a five-set match against Viterbo University (Wisc.) at Biola.

“We played really well against a very strong team,” Westmont coach Patti Cook said. “I was very pleased with our overall effort and I am excited about the bright future that we have ahead of us. It was a battle back and forth that came down to a couple of tight plays and tight calls.”

Westmont came out strong in the first two sets, capitalizing on its pin hitters and slowing down its opponents by putting up a solid block.

“We were basically just exchanging blows back and forth. We had more arms overall but they had one arm that was bigger than all of ours. Thankfully, we were able to put the brakes on her and kept her at bay pretty well,” explained Cook. Viterbo’s senior outside hitter Alicia Olson led their offensive charge with a .239 hitting percentage on the match.

As the battle progressed, the V-hawks got into an offensive rhythm and their block started to slowly chip away at the Warriors.

“For our first match of the season, I was very pleased,” assured Cook. “Viterbo’s experience in playing four matches before we played one definitely showed. But we battled and we didn’t give up when they had game point in the fifth game. We kept going at them strong.”

The Warriors offense was effectively run by senior setter Heidi Thompson who finished with a game high 51 assists. “Heidi played a really good match. She was dishing up some nice sets, making good decisions and was really hustling,” raved Cook.

Alongside Thompson were fellow veterans Madison Serrano and Sydney Striff who each finished with double-digit kills on the night.

While the upperclassmen showed up to play, it was freshman Taylor Beckman who stole the show. In her collegiate debut, the outside hitter tallied a team-high of 19 kills, along with 13 digs and 2 aces.

“I was really impressed with Taylor’s play on the outside. To see that much promise from a freshman in the first match of the season is very exciting. She did not let up, she just kept swinging strong and smart,” reported Cook.

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