SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- After six days without a competition Biola squeezed two matches and a hurried trip to Santa Barbara into a two-day span. After a win against Arizona Christian on Friday, a quick turnaround didn't seem to do much to set back the No. 3 Eagles who won in straight sets on the road at No. 10 Westmont on Saturday.
"It is difficult, but sometimes in conference play you will have these quick home then road matches in order to ensure that the entire conference schedule works out," said Head Coach Aaron Seltzer. "The girls did a great job of preparing quickly for tonight's match, and they proved it on the court."
Biola defeated the Warriors in three sets (25-20, 25-15, 25-9), improving upon their streak of 13 straight sets won. The Eagles have won 15 of 16 sets since conference play began and now find themselves at 5-0 tied for the Golden State Athletic Conference lead. Concordia also picked up a win tonight, defeating Hope International 3-0.
Hitting percentage was the Eagles' strength yet again as they outhit Westmont .321 to .023.
Chelsee Arnitz and Joclyn Kirton each racked up double-digit kill numbers and Gracee Gallarda rung up 36 assists, she now has sits just 27 away from the 3,000 assist plateau for her career. She would be just the sixth Eagle ever to hit that mark.
"We played a solid team match tonight, with contributions coming from all around," said Seltzer. "Westmont is a strong team, as evidenced by their ranking, but our collaboration on the court got the better of them tonight."
Evidence of Biola's team performance can be found in the distribution of the Eagles' 39 digs, as five players had three or more digs and three had seven-plus.
After a back and forth first set that saw seven lead changes, Biola kicked up their intensity and sealed the match by leading for the entirety of the last two sets, easily their most dominant two-set performance of the year.
"There was something different about the girls in the last two sets. You could tell how much they wanted this win, and they wanted to go out there and convince everyone they were the dominant team, it was pretty special to watch," said Seltzer.
Winning the ball back was key to the Eagles' ability to run through the final two sets, and for they second consecutive match they managed to keep their sideout percentage above 69 percent in all three sets.
As long-time GSAC rivals a road game for Biola at Murchison Gymnasium is always a tough atmosphere to play in, and the 350-plus fans in attendance tonight made sure it was no different for this match. Biola's strong senior leadership stepped it up and ensured that the Eagles' performance on the court gave them good reason to tune out the fans.
The win moves Biola to 14-0 (5-0 GSAC) and makes Westmont 14-4 (2-3 GSAC).