Volleyball finishes season as conference champions

The volleyball team ended their preliminary conference season with a loss to the Willamette Bearcats and a win over the Lewis & Clark Pioneers. The Pirates took first place in the Northwest Conference with a record of 13-3.

The Pirates began their weekend on Saturday, Nov. 6, by losing to the Bearcats in a close match, 3-2. The first set played out well for the Pirates. Whitworth held a lead for most of the set and finished with a score of 25-22.

However, the Bearcats came back strong and only lost their lead once in the second set. The Bearcats repeated their success in the third set and ended both sets with identical scores of 25-21.

"They're a very scrappy team," junior Breanna Buil said. "They Block really well against us. They just didn’t give up and kept coming after us.”

Whitworth attempted to turn the game around by winning the fourth set. Bruil led the Pirates offensively by scoring three kills in the set and 40 attacks for the night. The Pirates ended the set with a score of 25-16.

With the set score tied at 2-2, both teams came in prepared to end the game. The Pirates seemed to take the win by holding the lead for most of the set. However, at 14-14 one Bearcat kill and one Whitworth attack error gave the win to Willamette. The set ended at 16-14. While the Pirates led in kills and attacks, the Bearcats were able to take the victory and place third in the NWC.

“We just got a little hesitant,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “We started making careful plays instead of executing with confidence. Willamette, on their end, did a great job of earning those last five points.”

Saturday night began with a rough start in the first set against the Pioneers. The Pirates held a strong lead at 21-16. However, the Pioneers were unwilling to give up and stole the first set with a score of 31-29.

The Pirates came back in the second set playing a much faster game to counter the Pioneers’ skill in blocking. Whitworth built a strong lead and was able to follow through to the end of the set, winning with a score of 25-21.

“I think it was our intensity,” senior Nicole Leonard said. “We were able to keep pushing and keep playing our game.”

The third set mirrored the second and gave the Pirates another set point. The Pirates entered the fourth game with a set score of 2-1. The Pirates ended the game with their best set of the weekend. The Pirates made an impressive 11-point run that brought their score to 17-3. The Pirates did not relent and ended the game with a score of 25-8.

“We just really wanted to prove ourselves,” Bruil said. “We wanted to prove that we are the outright conference champion. We wanted to make a statement that we are a great team that can play together with passion.”

The Pirates received a bid to the next stage of the NWC tournament, Bodecker said. The schedule will be posted on the Whitworth Pirates website. To find their schedule and who they will play next please go to www.whitworthpirates.com.


Peter Houston-Hencken

Sports Editor

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at

phouston-hencken17@ my.whitworth.edu

Volleyball holds first place in Conference


The Pirates’ volleyball team won three sets to zero over the Whitman College Missionaries on Wednesday night at the Fieldhouse. They then traveled to Newberg, Oregon, where they beat the George Fox Bruins, 3-0. With the victories, the Pirates hold on to a 10-2 conference record and have put themselves in position to compete for the Northwest Championship in a few weeks.

In Wednesday’s game, the Pirates had an advantage in almost every major statistical category against the Missionaries; most notably, a 43-29 advantage in kills, and a 130-112 edge regarding total shot attempts.

Additionally, the Pirates committed less errors than the Missionaries, which helped them control the pace of the game, and maintain stability throughout.

Sophomore outside hitter Cassie Mendoza scored 10 kills, which led the Pirates. Senior right side hitter Shawna Korshavn and senior outside hitter Nicole Leonard had nine kills apiece, while junior middle blocker Brenna Bruil provided eight.

Defensively, senior Mallorie Schoesler had twelve digs, while senior setter Maddye Dinsmore contributed 35 assists to help the Pirates win each set by at least five points.

The Pirates also showed their depth as sophomore outside hitter Karina Lees contributed five kills.

“Our focus has just been to go after it right away at the beginning of the game,” Lees said. “Every single game we want to come out strong in the beginning, and power over the team.”

Their momentum spilled over into Friday, as they won the first three sets. Mendoza led again with 13 kills and 11 digs.

The first set of the game featured both teams struggling for the lead. The Bruins were able to come within two points, 18-16. However, the Pirates capitalized on a late run by Mendoza and Lees to win the set, 25-21.

The second set was also close, with the score reaching 16-13 at one point. However, the Pirates increased their lead and ended the set with a score of 25-15.


Whitworth ended the match with ease by taking an 11 point lead in the third set, 12-1. The Pirates ended the game with a nal score of 25-16.

The Pirates held key advantages in kills, 41-23 and attacks, 111-88 over the Bruins, while capitalizing defensively on a 49-45 edge in digs.

“I think the team has brought back a lot of energy, excitement and love of volleyball,” volleyball manager Ross Johnson said. “It’s easy for them to get in a slump during the month of October, having been going for a month and a half. With less than a month left, the girls have brought back a lot of fire and energy.”

The Pirates have been able to minimize their opponents’ advantages, allowing just one for the Bruins: a slim 5-3 margin in blocks, which has helped the Pirates succeed this season.

The Pirates face the Pacific University Boxers at home next Friday at 7 p.m.


Josiah VanWingerden

Staff Writer

Contact Josiah VanWingerden at


Volleyball jumps to first in conference over family weekend

The volleyball team put on a show for students and families by winning two games over Family Weekend. Friday night’s game against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes ended with a score of 3-1. The Pirates took a double victory by beating the Puget Sound Loggers, 3-0 the next day. The first two sets against the Lutes played out smoothly for the Pirates. Whitworth held a strong lead for the entire first set, ending in 25-17. The Lutes came back in the second set and gave Whitworth a challenge. They fell behind late in the set and lost with a score of 25-19.

The Pirates showcased their defensive skills with the help of senior Mallorie Schoesler. Schoesler racked up an impressive 30 digs on Friday.

“I’ve been really focusing on being aggressive on defense and just keeping my vision on the other side of the net,” Schoesler said.

The Lutes and Pirates were neck-and-neck for the entire third set. Neither team took a strong lead, but the Lutes were able to end the set at 28-26.

“I thought PLU did an excellent job of passing well,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “They were able to get into a great rhythm offensively, utilizing all three hitters in the front row.”

The fourth set looked as if it were to parallel the outcome of the third set. However, the Pirates managed to pull ahead and win the game with a score of 25-22.

The Saturday game began with the Pirates winning the first set. However, it would be the smallest lead for a final score the Pirates would receive.

“I feel like they blocked us pretty well during that first set,” Bodecker said. “We had to adjust to that.”

The Pirates came out strong in the second set and held the lead for a majority of the set. About halfway through the set sophomore Corrine Bell suffered an injury and was forced to leave the game.

However, the Pirates did not let up and exhibited skill in placing kills in the areas left open by the Loggers. Senior Nicole Leonard led the offense with 16 kills and 36 attacks.

“With my height I’m not supposed to be this power hitter,” Leonard said. “So what I try to do is place the balls effectively.”

The Pirates ended the second set with a score of 25-14. Whitworth was able to duplicate their success in the third set and end the game 25-14.

After Family Weekend, the Pirates were able to reach first place in conference with a record of 8-2.

The volleyball team will face off against Whitman College on Wednesday, September 21. The game will be held in the Fieldhouse at 6 p.m.


Peter Houston-Hencken

Sports Editor

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at 


Volleyball beats top two conference competitors

The volleyball team found redemption in last week’s games by beating the top two teams in the Northwest Conference. The Pirates beat the first place Willamette University Bearcats, 3-1, and brought the second place Lewis & Clark University Pioneers down to third with a score of 3-1.

Friday night’s home game against the Bearcats got off to a rocky start with the Pirates falling behind early in the match.

“We knew they would be good blockers,” senior Shawna Korshavn said. “But we’ve beaten them in past years.”

The Bearcats showcased their strong ability to block attacks throughout the first set as well as the entire game. By the end of the game, the Bearcats had a total of 14 blocks and 26 attempts compared to Whitworth’s four blocks and eight attempts.

The Pirates were unable to catch up to Willamette until the score reached 12-12. For the rest of the set, the Pirates slowly gained points while the Bearcats quickly increased their score to 25. The set ended with a Willamette win and score of 25-17.

The Pirates were for the second set by working together and playing at a much faster pace.

Whitworth struggled for a strong lead due to Willamette tying it up at multiple points. However, at 8-7 the Pirates broke free and took a strong lead, which they would hold until the end of the set. The second set ended with score of 25-15.

“Our passers did a great job of initiating that play,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “And then our hitters did a good job of terminating.”

Sophomore Cassie Mendoza led the offensive for the Pirates. By the end of the second set, Mendoza had a total of 10 kills and 22 attempts.

The Bearcats attempted to retaliate in the third set by holding a steady lead over the Pirates. Halfway through the set, the two teams tied the score at 13-13 and stayed neck and neck for the rest of the set. The Pirates were able to achieve a narrow victory and won the third set with a score of 25-23.

With the Pirates winning two sets in a row and holding a set score of 2-1, it seemed that Whitworth would dominate the game. The Pirates proved those predictions correct by dominating the fourth and final set.

Korshavn helped the Pirates achieve victory by landing 10 kills and 33 attempts throughout the game. However, the defense was led by senior Mallorie Schoesler who made 21 successful digs.

The Pirates ended the fourth set with relative ease. Whitworth held a solid lead for almost the entire set and ended with a nine-point lead. Friday night’s game ended with Whitworth winning the final set at 25-16 and holding a set score of 3-1.

Saturday’s game began with the Pioneers and the Pirates exchanging leads. Early in the first set, the Pioneers held a small lead, but dropped to seven points behind the Pirates at 19-13. The Pioneers closed the gap at 24-24, but the Pirates were able to close the set with two consecutive points.

The Pirates dominated the second set by holding a large lead for the majority of the set. The final 25-17 score was achieved through the of- fensive strength of sophomore Karina Lees who entered the game during the second set. Lees made five kills and 13 attempts in the sec- ond set as the right outside hitter.

“Right side is actually a newer position for me. I’ve only been playing it for about a week now,”Lees said.“I just have an aggressive mindset. I have something to prove.”

Lees went on to make a total of 11 kills against the Pioneers.

The Pioneers were able to win the third set with a close score of 25-22. The Pirates had difficulty digging Lewis & Clark’s trick attacks which were barely tapped over the net.

The Pirates used their skill of scoring points on serves to win the final set and close the game with a score of 25-23. The Pirates shot a total of nine service aces, one of which, ended the game.

“We have always wanted to use [serving] as a weapon and a way to score points,” Bodecker said.

The Pirates sit at second place for the NWC with a record of 6-2.

The Pirates will play at home on Friday, Oct. 16 against Pacific Lutheran University and Saturday, Oct. 17 against University of Puget Sound.


Peter Houston-Hencken

Sports Editor

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at


Volleyball team suffers two losses while away in Oregon

The volleyball team suffered two defeats this past weekend while on the road in Oregon. The Pirates lost a hard-fought match against the Pacific University Boxers, 3-2, on Friday night. Saturday’s game ended in a 3-1 loss to the Linfield College Wildcats. The Pirates fell from first place in the conference, dropping to third behind Willamette University and Lewis & Clark University.

“I think that right now we can’t concern ourselves where we are at in conference,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “Our biggest concern is just playing well and finding out what we need to fix to get better.”

The volleyball team started their weekend with a close loss to the Pacific University. Both teams showed varying levels of skill and weakness as seen in the ranging set scores.

The first set began with both teams struggling to take a sizeable lead. However, the Pirates were able to break away at 17-16 and would hold the lead for the rest of the set. Whitworth won the first set with a score of 25-23.

The second set appeared to follow the same pattern of the first. The Pirates initially held the lead at 22-21, but the Boxers were able to score four points in a row and win the set 25-22.

The Boxers came out strong in the third set by taking the lead and holding it for most of the set. The Pirates had difficulty keeping up and dropped behind as much as seven points. The Pirates were able to shrink the gap, but failed to prevent Pacific’s second set win, 28-26.

Whitworth responded by taking a eight-point lead in the fourth set. The Pirates won the set with a dramatic score of 25-17.

The Pirates were not able to carry that momentum over to the final set and lost with a score of 15-11 and a set score of 3-2.

“We had a couple small defensive skills that we needed to get better at,” senior Maddye Dinsmore said. “We have to be ready to show up and play our best ball any given night.”

Saturday night did not hold a better outcome for the Pirates. The Linfield Wildcats took the lead and won the first set with a score of 25-21.

The Pirates came back and dominated the second set by taking a strong early lead. The Pirates won the set with a score of 25-12.

“We got confidence in ourselves,” junior Brenna Bruil said. “We believed in each other so much that we were able to make a change and turn the game around.”

Bruil led the Pirates’ offense with 12 kills and 28 attempts. However, the third and fourth set mirrored each other and were claimed by the Wildcats. Both sets featured Whitworth taking an early lead, but letting it slip to Linfield. The third and fourth sets ended with scores of 25-20 and 25-22.

The Pirates will take on Lewis-Clark State tonight at 7 p.m. in Lewiston, Idaho.


Peter Houston-Hencken

Sports Editor

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at 


Volleyball team wins two hard-fought matches

The Volleyball team held its first place 10-3 overall standing by taking two victories last week against the Whitman Missionaries and the George Fox Bruins. The Pirates beat the Missionaries last Wednesday with a set score of 3-1, and achieved a narrow victory against the Bruins on Saturday 27. The Pirates began their Wednesday night game with a solid lead by winning the first set with ease.

The Whitman Missionaries simply could not keep up with the Pirates’ fast plays and cohesive teamwork. Minutes into the game, the Pirates had already taken the lead and would hold it for the rest of the set.

The Pirates’ lead continued to grow throughout the set and reached a peak of seven points when the score was 25- 18 at the end of the set.

The second set mirrored the first with Whitworth coming out strong. The Missionaries found themselves repeating their same mistakes and coming out with an even worse score of 25-17.


Though Whitworth seemed destined to win Wednesday’s match, the Pirates were unable to carry their momentum over to the third set to end the game. The Missionaries came out strong in the third set and took an early lead. The dynamic of the game had changed once Whitman held the lead at 7-2.

“Their block did a much better job,” Pirates head coach Kati Bodecker said. “They were making us work a little bit harder for our kills in that third set.”

The Pirates were unable to pick up the slack and stayed behind Whitman with a consistent margin. The set ended with a Missionary victory and a score of 25-19.

The fourth set of the match was close for its duration. The Pirates took the first point, but neither team was able to gain a solid lead. The Pirates and Missionaries stayed neck and neck until the score reached 12- 12.

“We knew that we needed to swing more aggressively and not let their block get in our way,” Bodecker said.

The Pirates were able to take the lead and managed a score of 18-14. Sophomore Cassandra Mendoza led the offensive with 18 kills and an attack percentage of 26 percent.

The Pirates were able to end the match with a score of 25-20 and a set score of 3-1.

Even though Saturday’s game ended with a better set score for the Pirates, the Bruins proved themselves to be a more challenging opponent.

“George Fox had a lot of intensity,” senior Nicole Leonard said. “Whitman has a few key hitters, and that’s what got us in trouble, but George Fox played all around as a team better than Whitman.”

Leonard led the Pirates in the first set by making the Pirates’ first kill of the game and getting an attack percentage of 34 percent.

The Pirates had a rough start, but once the gap was closed at 4-4, Whitworth took the lead and held it until the end of the set. The Pirates ended the first set with a solid score of 25-18.

The Bruins found an unexpected energy for the second set and jumped ahead to a score of 10-5. The Pirates were able to tie the score at 12- 12 but stayed neck and neck with the Bruins until the end of the set.

When the score reached 26-26, Mendoza and junior Haley Vick made kills to end the set with a score of 28-26.

“We were all working so hard,” Mendoza said. “You have to be gutsy, there at the end.”

The most intense set of the week came at the end of Saturday’s game. Neither team could get more than a three point lead and the teams remained evenly matched the entire set. Both teams exhibited talent with blocking and digging in the third set.

“Even through our struggles, our team does a really good job of maintaining our confidence,” Bodecker said. “They really picked up their intensity at the end.”

With each team constantly winning and losing the lead, the crowd was noticeably agitated. Both teams seemed tired when the score reached 31-31. Luckily, Leonard was able to make two successful kills and end the game at 33- 31.

Whitworth hold first place in the Northwest Conference with a record of 4-0. Even though Whitman is eighth and George Fox is sixth in the Conference, the Pirates did not let themselves get too comfortable.

“I feel like since we’re first in conference, we get the best of every team,” Leonard said. “They’re not coming here thinking they’re going to lose, they’re going to come play the best team.”

The Pirates will travel to Oregon this weekend and face off against Pacific University on Friday at 7 p.m. and Linfield University on Saturday at 5 p.m.


Peter Houston-Hencken 

Sports Editor

Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at 


Double victory for volleyball in western Washington

The volleyball team began their conference season with two great performances this past weekend. The Pirates walked away from a match against Pacific Lutheran University with a 3-0 victory. However, the real challenge of their western state matches came on Saturday night when they faced the Puget Sound University Loggers.

The first set against the Loggers did not have a good start. About halfway through the set, Loggers held the lead at 20-13. However, the Pirates gained a lot of ground with the help of seniors Nicole Leonard and Shawna Korshavn. By the end of the game, Leonard and Korshavn made 12 and 10 kills, respectively.

The Pirates were able to tie up the game, 24-24. The Pirates ended up losing the first set, but were able to make a comeback and take the second set with a score of 25-20.

“One of the biggest things was our mentality,” junior Brenna Bruil said. “We worked really hard and believed that we were going to win in our hearts.”

The Pirates heavily dominated the beginning of the third set. Sophomore Cassandra Mendoza led the Pirates to a 18-7 lead halfway through the set. Mendoza was able to make a staggering 16 kills in the game on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Loggers began to gain ground and worked their way up to a deficit of only five points.

“I don’t think we ever lost our confidence,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “If anything our frustration became more evident. But they found a way to persevere and they’re very resilient and when push comes to shove they find a way to score points.”

The Loggers won the fourth set, placing the score at 2-2. The Pirates were prepared to win and brought their best game to the fifth set.

“We really had a fire to win,” Mendoza said. “We knew we were the better team. We like the challenge and so we just went into it with a positive mindset.”

The Pirates were able to win the set with a score of 15-10, as well as win the game with a set score of 3-2.

Volleyball will be facing off with Whitman on Wednesday in Walla Walla at 6 p.m.

Peter Houston-Hencken

Sports Editor