Big Three Lead Bearcats Over Lewis and Clark in Four Games

SALEM — The Willamette University volleyball team (7-2 overall, 1-0 NWC) shook off some road-weary legs to take a four-game match in its Northwest Conference opener over Lewis and Clark (2-5 overall, 0-1 NWC) at the Cone Field House Tuesday night.

After splitting the first two games 30-25 and 25-30, Willamette’s power trio of Kristen Halleck, Angie Sammons and Lauren Thompson — along with libero Roni Schneider (pictured left) and setter Jessica Drumm — got the Bearcats back on track in games three (30-18) and four (30-20).

Sammons, the NWC Player of the Week, led the Bearcats with 23 kills and 13 digs. Halleck had 18 kills, six service aces and nine digs. Thompson added 14 kills. Schneider led Willamette with 20 digs while Drumm notched 39 assists.

The key to the match came in the third game. With the score tied at 8-8, the Bearcats reeled off ten straight points on Halleck serves and a handful of Thompson kills.

Game four was almost a carbon copy, with the Bearcats using an 11-4 run to turn a 3-3 tie into a 14-7 lead.

Megan Scheelar added a kill and two assists in game 3 for the Bearcats.

Lewis and Clark was led by Nicki Smith (18 kills, eight digs), Jennifer Slaton (13 kills, seven digs) and Audrey Dilling (12 kills). Kristin Head had 44 assists and 18 digs while libero Jessica Morales had 20 digs.

The Bearcats face Pacific Lutheran at home on Saturday night as they continue NWC play.

Roni Schneider