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McMINNVILLE, Ore. – A plucky Whitworth squad came to Ted Wilson Gymnasium Friday night with loads of energy and left with a three-set Northwest Conference sweep of the Linfield Wildcats, 25-9, 25-20, 25-19.
The Pirates pushed their record to 11-9 for the season and 5-3 in NWC play. Linfield dropped to 4-10, suffering its ninth straight loss, seventh consecutive in the NWC.
Kristine Kardell pounded 11 kills, Jalana White had nine more and the Pirates hit an efficient .253 at the net. Whitworth setter Maddye Dinsmore spread out 29 assists and dug nine balls while also added three block assists.
Whitworth had Linfield on its heels early, racing to leads of 10-5 and 20-8 on the way to a commanding decision in the first frame. Kardell, White, Tori LaBrie and Briauna Stadeli all had two kills while Dinsmore and Stadeli team for a pair of blocks.
After a pointless first set, Wildcats outside hitter Kailana Ritte-Camara caught fire in the second, downing four kills to keep Linfield considerably closer. Though the Pirates led by as many as nine points, 17-9, the Wildcats cashed in two kills by Ritte-Camara a service ace from Audrey Frazier to pull to within, four, 23-19. But an attack error by Ritte Camara, one of nine total for the Linfield lefty on the night, ended the set in the visitors' favor.
The ‘Cats got off to their best start in the third set, taking a 3-0 lead before the Pirates turned up the heat once more. Six kills in the deciding frame by White and three more from Kardell carried Whitworth past Linfield.
Ritte-Camara finished with six kills, five digs and one block assist. Victoria Thompson, Sam Hammons and Frazier each added three kills. Frazier scored a pair of aces, four digs and nine assists in the contest. Courtney Wanamaker recorded nine digs while Casie Gaza had seven digs and seven assists.
For the night, the Wildcats managed more errors (24) than kills (19) and finished with a -.053 hitting percentage.
NEXT: Linfield hosts Whitman Saturday night starting at 6 p.m.