RICHARDSON, Texas — The Southwestern University Pirates swept the first day of UT-Dallas Invitational, following a five-set victory over No. 23 Pacific Lutheran with a four-set victory over the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens.
"Having two in-region wins and seeing some quality rhythm and better offensive decision-making makes this team see how our training can transfer to live match play," Head Coach Don Flora said. "The overall serve and pass component of the game was cleaner today than in our last matches a week ago."
First year setter Katelyn Whitehead set the table for her teammates, finding a good balance between outside hitters Elleanna McGown (15 kills, .333 hitting percentage) and Emma White (10 kills, .194 hitting percentage) to produce 33 assists on 93 touches.
Southwestern hit .218 as a team while holding Pomona-Pitzer to a .154 hitting percentage, getting 21 digs from Ali Grona and five team blocks. The serve reemerged as a weapon, putting together double-digit aces for the first time since the first two days of the regular season with 10 total.
- McGown continues to light up the box score to begin her collegiate career, totaling double-digit kills for a third consecutive match. She also showcased her defense with nine digs and one block assist.
- Grona set a career-high in digs and aces, accounting for six of the Pirates' 10 service aces. She finished the day with eight aces total.
With the two victories, the Pirates improve to 4-2 on the season. They'll continue play tomorrow, facing Aurora at 12:30 p.m. Aurora entered the season ranked No. 10 in Division III in the AVCA preseason polls but have since dropped out of the top 25. They follow that with a match against host team Texas-Dallas at 3:00 p.m.