Westmont Magazine A Surprising Final Four Finish

The women’s volleyball team came back from a slow start to finish 28-10 and advance to the NAIA Final Four for the second time in Westmont history.

After playing together for four years and going to the national tournament in 1998, a group of four seniors used their experience to good effect. They more than met Coach Jim Smoot’s goal of making an impact on the national level.

Although the team began the year with four losses, the Warriors put together a 13-match winning streak. Fresno Pacific defeated them again in the NAIA Region 2 championship match, but the Warrriors earned a top-10 NAIA national ranking and an invitation to the 20-team National Tournament in Fresno, Calif. With two upset victories in a 10-hour span, they claimed a spot among the NAIA’s elite teams.

Tena Mensonides, a junior from Modesto, Calif., was selected as a member of the NAIA National All-Tournament Team. She was also named a second-team NAIA All-American, becoming the first volleyball player since 1994 (and the fifth  in college history) to earn All-American honors.

Her fine play — and great efforts by several teammates — helped spark the Warriors to the NAIA Final Four. Mensonides led the Warriors this season in kills, digs and blocks. She was also named to the All-GSAC Team, and NAIA All-Region Team.