COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A strong defensive performance and continued development from its young hitters propelled the Southwestern University Pirates volleyball team past the University of Dallas Crusaders in three sets (25-22, 25-12, 25-22).
Southwestern limited Dallas to a .072 hitting percentage, getting double-digit digs from Brandi Campos (13) and Makenzie Mendez (11) while showing activity around the net with two solo blocks and 12 block assists.
Freshmen Alyssa Dooley and Ashley Whitlock each finished with a match-high 10 kills, with Dooley working the outside with 21 attacks and three errors for a .259 hitting percentage and Whitlock, the middle blocker, getting hers on 21 attacks with three errors for a .333 hitting percentage.
Both also contributed a solo block each while Whitlock assisted on a match-high five blocks.
Dallas played Southwestern tough in the first set, playing relatively mistake free volleyball with a .244 hitting percentage—its best of the match—to tie the set at 22 before a kill by Lauren Crabtree and two errors allowed the Pirates to pull away in the first set.
Southwestern jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in the second set, taking advantage of four attack errors and back-to-back Dooley kills to take a 7-1 lead to force a Dallas timeout. The Pirates didn't let up, hitting a match-best .258 in the set while committing only three errors while Dallas committed 10 to finish with a -0.91 hitting percentage.
The Pirates closed the match out with 14 kills in the final set.
Jamison Duck had a solid all-around game for the Pirates, contributing nine kills and nine digs with two service aces, leading the conference in aces per set with 0.53. Makenzie Mendez led the Pirates with 28 assists and currently ranks third in conference in total assists and assists per set.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 11-10 on the season and 7-3 in conference play while the Crusaders drop to 15-9 and 5-5 in conference. Southwestern will play the final match of its four-game road swing later today against Austin College at 6:00 p.m.