Westminster volleyball: Griffins sweep St. Mary; take Mesa in five

By Joshua Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 24 2012 11:23 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – The Westminster College women’s volleyball team picked up two wins in two tries on the opening Day of the Westminster Tournament of Champions. The wins, however, came in two completely different fashions. Westminster opened the day with a 3-0 sweep of St. Mary (Neb.) before battling to a 5-set win over Colorado Mesa in the day’s finale.

It was a strong serve game that carried Westminster to a 25-16, 25-15, 25-17 win over St. Mary in the first match of the day. The Griffins posted 15 service aces in the match, racking up five in each of the sets while improving to 4-1 on the season. The 15 total aces are tied for third most in school history.

It was a balance offensive attack as eight different Griffins posted multiple kills on the way to a team total of 33 kills. Alexis Aalona had a team-high seven kills while also adding seven digs. Ashley Marchant posted five kills and matched her career high with four service aces. Rachel Wyss recorded three aces off the bench, and Kyndall Kordakis picked up 17 digs.

Joy Leick led CSM with six kills, and Maddie Scow had four kills and three blocks.

Offense was the name of the game in the 25-19, 25-19, 30-32, 17-25, 16-14 win over Colorado Mesa. The Griffins got off to a quick start behind .386 hitting over the first two sets. While that number fell to .265 when the match was over, the Griffins posted 69 kills in the match. Westminster also recorded nine more service aces and had a season-high 14 blocks.

Katie Vance had a stellar performance in the match, finishing with 13 kills while hitting .500. She also chipped in two aces, two digs and fell one block shy of her career high with nine. Aalona matched a career high with 14 kills and hit .429. Marchant had 15 kills and nine digs. Emily Atkinson finished with 56 assists and 10 digs for her third double-double of the season. Kordakis had 23 digs.

Mesa got 16 kills from Casey Bell and 11 apiece from Haleigh Higgins, Rachael Beaty and Melissa Hess. They finished with 71 kills and 82 digs and only missed one serve in 109 opportunities. Megan Rush finished with 28 digs, and Jordyn Moody had 48 assists and 13 digs.

Westminster will conclude the Tournament of Champions on Saturday when the team hosts St. Mary in the finale. That match will begin at 2 p.m. in the Behnken Field House.

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