WVB: Westmont goes 2-2 at Biola Summer Slam

Westmont seemed determined to garner plenty of court time in the season-opening Biola/Red Lion-Anaheim Summer Slam volleyball tournament.

The Warriors went five sets in each of three matches against ranked opponents before sweeping unranked Bellevue (Neb.) in straight sets (25-21, 25-19, 25-14). The Warriors were 2-2 over the two-day, 14-team event.

“I am really please with a 2-2 start to our season, especially with the caliber of teams that were down here,” said Westmont head coach Patti Cook. “What I am especially pleased with is that we got better and learned something with every match.”

Thursday afternoon, Westmont began the tournament with a 3-2 (25-22, 27-25, 26-28, 23-25, 15-11) loss to NAIA No. 22 Hastings (Neb.). Late Thursday night, the Warriors rebounded with a 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-11) victory over No. 14 College of Idaho.

Friday morning saw the Warriors face off against fifth-ranked Rocky Mountain and take the Bears to five sets before falling 25-23, 25-17, 14-25, 20-25, 15-11.

“We knew that his morning was going to be a tough one for us to pull off with the late night that we had the night before and not much turnaround time,” said Cook. “I felt like we performed really well, even though our focus was a bit off.

“We got consistent performances out of both of our middle blockers in all four matches,” added Cook, referring to senior captain Missy Fuerst and freshman Libby Dahlberg. “They were working really hard, had a good time blocking and had good offense as well.”

Dahlberg made her Warrior debut by tallying 40 kills and posting a .308 attack percentage. Fuerst added another 34 kills to the Warrior’s totals while hitting at a .333 rate.

Over the four matches, Westmont’s outside hitters combined for 101 kills, with sophomore Taylor Beckman posting a team-high 53 and recording an attack percentage of .289. Junior Jessica McCann notched 48 kills for the Warriors.

On the right side, senior Sydney Striff contributed 32 kills and junior Sarah McGough added 21 more to the Warriors’ totals.