Westminster volleyball: Women's volleyball team to face three ranked teams this weekend

By Joshua Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 29 2012 1:37 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – The Westminster College women's volleyball team will travel to Irvine, Calif., this weekend for the Asics/Wyndham Hotel Labor Day Tournament hosted by Concordia (Calif.) University. Westminster will play four matches at the tournament against teams from the Golden State Athletic Conference, including three that are ranked in the NAIA Preseason Top 25.

The Griffins open the weekend with a match against The Master's College on Friday at noon before playing No. 5 Biola at 6 p.m. Saturday's action starts at 10 a.m. with a match against No. 24 Westmont. Westminster will wrap up the trip versus No. 2 Concordia at 6 p.m. Saturday. All four matches will be played in CU Arena on the Concordia campus.

Westminster is off to the best start in school history with a current record of 6-1. The previous best start was a 5-2 mark set in 2007. That is the only year Westminster has qualified for the NAIA National Championships and the only other time the Griffins have been above .500 through the first seven games of the season.

Westminster enters the weekend riding a three-match winning streak. In their six wins this season, they have picked up three sweeps while winning once in four sets and two other times in a fifth set. The Griffins are a perfect 5-0 this season when they win the first set and 6-0 if they win one of the first two frames.

Offensively, Westminster currently leads the Frontier Conference with an average of 12.44 kills per set and rank third with a .228 hitting efficiency. The Griffins also have dominated matches at the service line where they average 2.37 service aces per set to lead the league and rank 16th in the NAIA.

Ashley Marchant has been the catalyst of the offense. The senior outside hitter is averaging 2.81 kills per set to rank fifth in the conference. She has gone for a double-digit kill total in a team-high three matches this season and is hitting .299. Her 76 kills rank 10th in the Frontier and 33rd in the NAIA. Marchant is also off to a fast start at the service line with 13 aces to tie for the team lead and rank second in the conference.

Katie Vance is currently second on the team with 47 kills and leads the team with her .311 hitting efficiency. She also leads the way with 16 blocks, including nine in the Griffins win over Colorado Mesa last Friday. Alexis Aalona has recorded 43 kills and eight service aces. Emily Atkinson is second in the Frontier with 259 assists and ranks 24th in the NAIA at 9.59 per set. She is tied with Marchant with 13 aces. Kyndall Kordakis has 116 digs and is third in the Frontier at 4.3 per set.

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