Bob McLellan, Shooting Star
Senior Katie Hutchings (center) and sophomore Sydnee Simmons (right) jump to block an attack.

Westminster College volleyball suffered a defeat to Black Hills State University, 3-1. The Griffins lost the first set, 25-17; won the second set, 26-24; lost set three, 25-22; and lost set four, 25-17.

Westminster falls to 5-13 overall and 2-8 in conference play, while Black Hills State improves to 8-11 overall and 5-5 in conference play.

Westminster started the first set in promising fashion. Black Hills State was leading 6-4 after 10 points had been played. The visitors increased the lead with a seven-point run and never looked back, leading by as many as 12 points and eventually winning the match, 25-17.

The Yellow Jackets started the second set scoring nine-straight points and looked like they would run away with the set. An 11-3 run by the Griffins saw them claw themselves back within one point. The Griffins continued to battle until two kills, by Amara Spere, captured the lead at 24-23. The Griffins won the set, 26-24.

The Griffins continued to battle in the third set. The Griffins took the lead at 6-5 and led by as much as five points until Black Hills State tied it up at 19-19. Kills by Spere and Amber Lamborn kept the set close, but the Yellow Jackets pulled away and won 25-22.

Black Hills State won the match in the fourth set, 25-17, as the Griffins ran out of steam.

"I am happy with the way the team battled," said head coach Al Givens. "It's difficult, after an emotional five-set match the night before, to battle with a team coming in that is rested and didn't have a match the night before. "

Spere and Audrey Green each had double-digit kills on the night. Spere tallied 14 kills and a .324 hitting percentage. Green tallied 22 kills and a .356 hitting percentage. Taylor Gustafson had 46 assists and nine digs. Libero Megan Gallegos led the team in digs with 12, while three other players had eight digs each — Hannah Stearman, Lamborn and Green.

The Griffins go on a five-game road trip during the next two weeks. Next week the team will play three matches — CSU-Pueblo on Tuesday, Adams State on Thursday and Fort Lewis on Saturday. The games will be available on the RMAC Network and live stats.


Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. The intercollegiate athletics program is a provisional member of NCAA II and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).