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Westminster volleyball: Griffins win fourth straight with five-set defeat of Northern

By Josh Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2 2013 12:15 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY – The Westminster College women’s volleyball team gave a Senior Night performance for the ages as it handed 24th-ranked Montana State-Northern its first conference loss of the season with a (18-25, 25-22, 25-18, 17-25, 15-11) win Saturday afternoon in the Behnken Field House.

Westminster (15-12, 9-5 Frontier) won for the fourth straight time and the fifth time in the past six matches. Westminster finished the match with a 65-63 edge in kills to snap Montana State-Northern’s 15-match winning streak. The Griffins hit .200 for the match and held Northern to .184.

Alexis Aalona led the Westminster attack with 18 kills, and she added 14 digs for her team-high 12th double-double of the season. The junior hit .212 in the match while also picking up four blocks. Mayra Ramirez added 14 kills and hit .370 with seven blocks.

The Griffins got off to a slow start following the senior festivities prior to the match. They only hit .154 in the set and notched 12 kills to the 16 from Northern. Katie Vance and Jovana Sisovic had three kills apiece in the set to lead the Griffins.

Westminster responded in the second set with a 16-11 edge in kills, and it hit .178 and limited the guests to .045 hitting. Aalona notched seven kills in the frame with Ramirez getting four kills and one block. Kyndall Kordakis notched nine kills in the frame.

The third set saw Westminster knock out a .405 hitting efficiency with 17 kills. There were two ties and two lead changes in the set, and Northern had 16 kills and hit .262. Aalona used five kills in the set to hit .625 with Ramirez also posting five kills in the set.

Northern took the fourth set behind 11 kills and forcing the Griffins into 10 hitting errors. Westminster limited MSUN to .171 hitting, thanks to two blocks and 20 digs. Ramirez had another four kills, and Kordakis picked up eight digs.

Westminster took the fifth set by racking up nine kills and hitting .320. The Griffins stymied the Northern attack with six blocks and held it to .103 hitting in the set. Alyse Horton and Aalona had three kills in the set with Ramirez getting four blocks, including three straight to open up a lead for the Griffins.

Horton added nine kills in the match to hit .214. Emily Atkinson dished out 43 assists with seven digs, while Cassandra Fenton had 16 assists and 11 digs. Kordakis finished with 33 digs, her second-highest total of the season.

Kelsey Williams led Northern with 23 kills, and Abby Nicholas finished with 19 kills.

Westminster now takes to the road for two matches to close the regular season. The first of those comes Thursday at Lewis-Clark State at 8 p.m. MST, in Lewiston, Idaho.

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