SALT LAKE CITY – The Westminster College women's volleyball team started slowly before coming up with a 3-0 sweep over Montana Western Saturday afternoon at the Behnken Field House.
Westminster won its Frontier Conference opener 26-24, 25-16, 25-22 to snap a three-match losing streak and improve to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in the league. Western drops to 5-9 and 0-2.
The Griffins hit .231 in the match and finished with a 46-36 advantage in kills. They held Western to .158 hitting and had 11 blocks and 50 digs. Westminster also recorded eight service aces and 44 assists.
Alexis Aalona posted 11 kills and 11 digs for her first double-double of the season. The sophomore hit .250 with one assist and two blocks. Katie Vance and Ashley Marchant recorded nine kills apiece. Vance also picked up a career high five service aces plus two blocks and four digs. Rachel Enloe posted eight kills and hit .500 off the bench.
Brea Mitchell led UMW with 10 kills and a .350 hitting efficiency. Emily Erickson added nine kills, and Shelby Mack recorded 16 digs for the Bulldogs.
The Griffins were hitting in the negative through much of the opening set and found themselves trailing 11-6 at one point. They would eventually even the score at 17-17 and then took the lead 20-19. Western would rally back and hold a set point at 24-23 before the Griffins scored three straight to win the opening frame. Westminster hit just .175 in the set with 16 kills, while UMW had 11 kills and hit .333.
The second set would be dominated by the Griffins from the beginning. After it was tied at 1-1, the Griffins scored the next four points to open up a 5-1 lead, and they would never look back. They hit .364 in the stanza and racked up another 16 kills with a 68 percent sideout percentage. Western did grab 12 kills in the set, but managed just a .158 hitting efficiency.
Westminster led the third set wire-to-wire after scoring the first four points. At one point the Griffins held a 15-9 advantage until an 8-3 run by the Bulldogs cut the lead to 18-17. The Griffins responded with five consecutive points to put the game out of reach and earn the sweep. Westminster hit .182 in the set with 14 kills and held Western to .061 despite their 13 kills.