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Westminster volleyball: Women's volleyball to hosts Tournament of Champions

By Joshua Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 24 2012 2:41 p.m. MDT

After a strong start to the new season last weekend in Oregon, the Westminster College women's volleyball team heads home to host the Westminster Tournament of Champions this weekend. Westminster welcomes College of St. Mary (Neb.) and Colorado Mesa to town for the two-day event.

Westminster will open the round robin on Friday morning at 10 a.m. with a match against St. Mary. The tournament continues at 5 p.m. with St. Mary playing Colorado Mesa before Mesa plays the Griffins at 7 p.m. Saturday action gets underway at noon with St. Mary and Mesa facing off. Westminster will conclude the weekend with a 2 p.m. match against St. Mary. The matches involving CMU will be exhibitions and not count in the season results or statistics.

Westminster started the season off with three wins in four matches at last week's Paul Elliott Invitational hosted by Southern Oregon. By winning the first three matches of the tournament, Westminster started a season at 3-0 for the first time since 2007.

Offensively, the Griffins finished the weekend hitting .204 in the four matches and averaging 11.9 kills per set. They currently lead the Frontier Conference in hitting efficiency, kills, kills per set, assists and assists per set. They also lead the league after recording 35 service aces during the opening weekend, the fifth most in the country to date.

Defensively, Westminster limited the opposition to 11.2 kills per set and .122 hitting. They averaged 14.9 digs per set, while the 238 total digs are seventh-most in the NAIA. The Griffins came up with 18 blocks during the four matches for an average of 1.12 per set.

Ashley Marchant got her senior season started with a bang. The outside hitter from Sandy recorded 49 kills with a .316 hitting percentage in four matches. She also added seven service aces and 42 digs and currently ranks in the Frontier top 10 in each of those categories. Emily Atkinson ran the offense to the tune of 9.2 assists per set to lead the league while notching a team-best eight aces. She also was second with 43 digs during the tournament.

Katie Vance finished with 30 kills and a team-high five blocks while Kyndall Kordakis led the way with 68 digs. Freshman Alyse Horton racked up 25 kills and hit .302 during her first collegiate weekend. Horton came off the bench in all four matches and also posted three aces and 20 digs.

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