After learning earlier in the afternoon that it had received a number nine national ranking in the NAIA Coaches Poll, Westmont Volleyball went out and swept La Sierra in three sets 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 to extend its record to 8-1.
"Our team took a little while to get into the groove of things," said Westmont head coach Patti Cook. "With a new player in the front row in Nichole Miller, it can take a little while to get used to a big change like that. But I think the players worked through it and did a good job. Nichole got into a good groove.
Miller moved into the starting right side hitter position after Heidi Thompson suffered a broken leg in the Warriors' last match against Menlo. Thompson, who normally serves as the Warriors number two setter, got the nod at opposite after Kayta Goyich suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in training camp. Miller proved the depth of the Warrior team, recording eight kills and a .316 attack percentage.
Leading the Warrior attack were outside hitters Madison Serrano and Tessa Martin.
"I was really proud of our outsides," said Cook. "They executed our game plan perfectly and stayed aggressive throughout the match. We needed them to stay aggressive and keep the ball in play. The timing on their attack choices was really good."
Serrano tallied a game-high15 kills while producing an attack percentage of .333. Martin added eight kills and posted a .217 attack percentage.
Equally impressive was Westmont middle blocker Ciara Turner who pounded down 10 kills and led the team with a .419 attack percentage.
"Ciara had a great game," agreed Cook. "When you see a middle blocker get as many attempts as your right side and not too many less than your outsides, that's a good offense.
"Ciara is so athletic and can find the seam. She has done a great job this year of working to get her arm under control. She doesn't have to swing 100 percent. Her 70 percent is still just as hard as a lot of people's 100 percent. She has taken her hitting up another level. She wasn't putting the ball down every time, but she had very good coverage in back of her.
"La Sierra is a good team," noted Cook. "We beat them with our ball control. But I don't expect to play a similar team when we go down to their home (October 9). They are going to be a tougher team."
This weekend, The Warriors will head north of Sacramento to William Jessup College to play three games. On Friday afternoon, Westmont will take on Daemen (N.Y.) at one o'clock. Then on Saturday, Westmont has a two o'clock date with Simpson before playing Menlo for the second time this season at seven o'clock.