Bearcats defeat Bruins as Season Comes to a Close 3-1

NEWBERG, OR: In the Northwest Conference women’s volleyball season finale for both teams Willamette University and George Fox met at Miller Gym in the Wheeler Sports Center at George Fox. George Fox University Bruins were victimized by too many attack errors and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Bearcats.

Willamette avenged an earlier 3-0 loss to George Fox in Salem with its 30-13, 30-28, 22-30, 30-27 victory over the home-standing Bruins. The Bearcats finished the season with an 18-8 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the league, while the Bruins dropped to 12-14 overall and 7-9 in the NWC.

The Bearcats were in total control in game one after Kristin Halleck served 8 winning points in a row to boost Willamette to a 13-5 lead. The Bearcats hit .364 in the game to a minus-.081 for the Bruins. Game two was a tight one, with neither team holding more than a 4-point lead throughout. A Bruin attack error enabled the Bearcats to break a 22-22 tie and hang on for the win.

George Fox trailed by one point twice in the early going in game three, but after leading for most of the game, broke away from a slim 19-16 lead with 6 unanswered points and cruised the rest of the way. After snapping an 8-8 tie with a 5-point run, Willamette never trailing again in game four, but the Bruins twice battled back for ties at 20-20 and 22-22. The Bearcats finally put the match away with a game-ending kill by Angie Sammons.

Sammons finished with 19 kills to lead all attackers, while Halleck added 16 and Jenni Linden 10. Jodi Zaffino had 52 assists. The Bearcats also benefited from a strong serving game, recording 12 aces, 5 by Sammons. Halleck led all defenders with 25 kills, Celia Batlan added 23, Sammons 20, and Zaffino 14.

The Bearcats hit .203 for the match, with 62 kills and 24 errors, and made 98 digs.

For the Bruins, Libby Rietze and Jeni Nelson had 11 each and Melissa Farrens added 10. Gina Coolen chalked up 42 assists. Farrens had 4 of the Bruins’ 8 aces. Nicole Bostic led the home team with 20 digs, Annie May Brown and Haley Stapleton had 16 apiece, Michol Roberts dug 15, and Coolen had 13.