McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Defending Northwest Conference champion Whitworth rode the combined 20 kills of twins Ka’ipo and Kaima Rocha to sweep the Linfield Wildcats 25-20, 25-20, 25-21 Friday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium. The visiting Pirates improved to 8-4 overall and remained perfect in the NWC at 3-0. The Wildcats, playing their home opener, fell to 0-3 in league action, 4-7 overall.
Freshmen Kailana Ritte-Camara (Jr., Molokai, Hawaii) and Victoria Thompson (Jr., Newberg, Ore.) combined for 21 kills for the Wildcats, who enjoyed one of their better offensive performances of the season, hitting .191 for the match. Whitworth, though, was better at the net, hitting .227 and from the service line, planting six aces to the Wildcats’ three.
The two teams exchanged numerous lead changes in a back-and-forth first set. The margin did not exceed two points until Whitworth surged for four straight points to win the set 25-20.
The Pirates came out with a bang in the second frame,, taking an early 6-1 lead. Although Linfield sparked a couple rallies to close within three, it wasn't enough as Whitworth won the set 25-20.
The third set featured Whitworth putting the pressure on Linfield early, building leads as large as seven points. The 'Cats showed they weren't going away easy, coming back to snip the margin to three before eventually taking a 17-16 leage. The teams traded blows before the Pirates closed the door on the 'Cats for good, winning the set 25-21, therefore sweeping Linfield 3-0 in the match.
Thompson, a 6-foot middle blocker, recorded a season-best .529 hitting percentage, tallying 10 kills in 17 attempts. Ritte-Camara totaled 11 kills and seven digs. Libero Samantha Lau collected a match-high 22 digs for the 'Cats. Audrey Frazier (Jr., Albany, Ore.) was solid with 32 assists.
For Whitworth, Kaimi Rocha had 12 kills, 11 digs and a pair of solo blocks.Ka'ipo Roch added eight kills and three block assists. Amanda Grumbach scooped up a team-best 13 digs while adding six kills, two aces and a block assist. Setter Bree Riddle spread around 30 assists.
NEXT UP: A struggling Whitman team (1-7) visits Linfield Saturday night for a NWC contest starting at 7 p.m.
.529 hitting percentage
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128