Make no mistake, the Westcliff University women’s volleyball team is a hard-nosed group of Road Warriors.
So far this season, Westcliff has played three home tilts, and 18 road games, including the last 16 in a row.
So when Thursday night finally popped up on the schedule, and the Warriors had a chance for a little home cooking on Pink-Out, the team’s breast cancer awareness fundraiser, which just so happened to correspond with Senior Night, Westcliff put on a show.
Before a packed and raucous crowd on hand at Santiago High School in Garden Grove, Westcliff, outfitted in bright pink Under Armour uniforms, upended the Golden State Athletic Conference’s Ottawa University of Arizona in four sets, 25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 26-24.
“This was a very important win for us,” Westcliff head coach Derrick Trent said. “(OUAZ) being in the GSAC, after we played Vanguard, it was nice to come back and get a win against another GSAC opponent. Historically, we’ve struggled with GSAC opponents, so it was nice to come out and get a good solid win.”
The Warriors, who last played at home in August in a five-set heartbreaker against San Diego Christian, looked like a completely different team two months later.
Westcliff had very few unforced errors, collected digs with confidence, set with precision, and killed with authority.
“They’re fighters,” Trent said. “They’re competitors. They love these high-stress situations, and love to dig deep. They fight for every point – they’re definitely a scrappy team.”
The stat sheet was filled with headlining performances.
Sarah Roach led the way with kills from the outside, finishing with 13, while Amanda Gross chipped in seven.
Carley Hill (six kills) and Aliza Atkins (five kills) anchored the middle, finishing with four blocks apiece, and libero Kassidy Beagan dominated on the defensive end, turning in a game-high 16 digs, to complement her 20 service receptions.
“Even though we dropped a set in the middle, we came back and played our game,” Beagan said. “We played to who we are, and we brought it out.”
Setter Enjelica Glattli had an incredible night, turning in 23 assists, while captain Tiana Gildernew added 20 of her own.
“Our setters definitely rose to the occasion today and provided a lot of the support needed for our hitters,” Trent said. “They kept plugging away, even when things weren’t looking so bright for us, and that’s a really hard thing to do, especially as a setter.”
But Trent emphasized that Thursday’s victory was a complete-team win, with everyone doing their job and contributing to the performance.
Westcliff (13-8) finished with 12 service aces as a team.
“This team is definitely one for the books,” Gildernew said. “I’m really happy that I got to play with them this year.”
Added Beagan: “We bonded really well. It was a great team. We talked a lot. On and off the court, it was great. A lot of good friendships have been made.”
Brooke Scheidle finished with six kills and Leah Price added five of her own. Sierra Lim and Rylee Adair turned in 10 service receptions apiece.
When asked about going out in style on Senior Night, Gildernew smiled.
“For the seniors, we really wanted this game,” she said. “We wanted to leave it all out on the court one last time, and I think we definitely did that tonight.”
To contact Brandon Petersen, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.