Westminster volleyball: Griffins defeat UGF for third straight win

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 11:06 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – Playing in front of a ruckus crowd on Halloween night, the Westminster College women’s volleyball team continued its home success with a four-set victory over Great Falls (Mont.) in a Frontier Conference match in the Behnken Field House.

Westminster has now taken three straight matches and four of its last five as it improves to 14-12 on the season. The Griffins inch closer to the third spot in the Frontier Conference standings at 8-5 with the (25-17, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18) victory.

It was another scorching start for the Griffins as they hit .289 in the opening set and racked up 17 kills. They limited Great Falls (8-19, 3-10) to just five kills in the set and held them to .000 hitting. Alexis Aalona recorded five kills in the set and hit .714, while Alyse Horton added four kills.

Great Falls used a .222 hitting efficiency in the second set to take the win despite the Griffins having a 14-11 kill advantage. Aalona had another four kills in the set, but the team hit just .114 with 10 hitting errors and four missed serves.

The Westminster serve game took a step forward in the third set, and it picked up three service aces to go with 15 kills. The Griffins were able to use those aces and a plus-five kills advantage to overcome .266 hitting from the Argos. Mayra Ramirez hit .800 in the set with four kills.

Serving was again the deciding factor in the fourth set with the Griffins using five aces in the frame to win the match. Although it only had 10 kills in the frame, Westminster hit .269 and limited UGF to .069 hitting. Cassandra Fenton notched three of her career-high six service aces in the set, and Ramirez added another three kills.

Westminster finished the night with a 56-37 advantage in kills while hitting .199 overall. The Griffins set a season high with 12 service aces and held the visitors to .127 hitting. The Griffins recorded seven blocks and 51 digs in the match.

Aalona led all players with 14 kills, and she finished the night with a .417 hitting efficiency. Ramirez added 12 kills, her second-most in a match this season, while hitting a Griffin season-best .688 thanks to only one error. Aalona added eight digs and Ramirez totaled four blocks.

The Griffins setters combined for 45 assists, 10 aces and 15 digs. Emily Atkinson had 24 dimes and four aces with Fenton going for 21 assists and those six aces, a season high for any Griffin. Kyndall Kordakis finished the evening with 22 digs at libero.

Becky Kershner led UGF with 12 kills, and she hit .476 for the match. Alyssa McEwan added seven kills, and Jacey Habets posted 12 digs.

Westminster will look for a season-high fourth straight victory Saturday when it hosts 24th-ranked Montana State-Northern. Senior Day festivities in the Behnken Field House will begin shortly before the 2 p.m. MDT scheduled match.

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