The Westminster women's volleyball (8-16, 5-11 RMAC) team returned to the Behnken Field House on Nov. 3, for the first of three home games to finish the 2017 season. The Griffins swept the New Mexico Highland University Cowgirls (7-13, 4-11 RMAC), 3-0, defeating them 25-17, 19-25, and 22-25.
The Griffins controlled the first set of the night. The Griffins took the lead on the first point, off a kill by senior Amara Spere, and held on to it the entire set. The Cowgirls kept the game within two and three points, but an 8-2 run by the Griffins stretched the lead to 19-12. The Griffins had 15 kills and a .323 hitting percentage.
New Mexico tested Westminster's resilience and determination in the second set. After a good start to the set, the Griffins found themselves in a tug of war with the Cowgirls. Kills by five Griffin players kept the set close and eventually earned the lead at 15-14. A red card to the New Mexico head coach gave a point to the Griffins and swung the moment in their favor as they went on a 6-2 run to finish the set, 25-19.
New Mexico led for 29 minutes in the third set and looked like it might get back into the match. A timely service ace from senior Megan Gallegos tied the match at 15-15, and two attack errors by the Cowgirls swung the score in favor of the Griffins, 17-15. It was enough of an opening for the Griffins to make it to the end of the set, 25-22, and win the match, 3-0.
"I am really pleased with the composure we showed in set three when we got down 10-5," head coach Al Givens said. "There were some big, long rallies we were able to win. Those are momentum points."
Senior Taylor Gustafson had a strong showing with a hitting percentage of .800, 33 assists, 13 digs and two service aces. Spere had nine kills, one solo block and five block assists. Freshman Audrey Green continued to get kills with 19 on the night. Katie Hutchings contributed five block assists to the team's tally of nine blocks.
It's a quick turnaround as the Griffins return to the Behnken Field House on Nov. 4, at 3 p.m., against the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door the day of the game. The game will be broadcast on the RMAC Network and available on 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).