Bearcats Rally to Defeat Whitworth in Five; Take Over Sole Possession of Second Place in the NWC

SALEM, OR — The Willamette University volleyball team came from five points down in the final game to defeat the Whitworth Pirates and take sole possession of second place in the Northwest Conference with a 5-game win Friday night at the Cone Field House.

Down 14-9 in the final game, the Bearcats roared back to tie the match at 14-14 on an Angie Sammons kill. Kills by the Bearcat’s Lauren Thompson and the Pirates Julie Marsh kept the game tied at 15-15. Another Thompson kill put the Bearcats up one and Sammons ended the game and the match with her 24th kill of the night.

The win pushes Willamette’s record to 9-2 in the NWC and 15-5 overall. Whitworth drops to 8-3 in conference and 15-4 overall.

The Pirates took game one of the match 30-25. Marsh, who led the Pirates with 20 kills, had two in a row to give the Pirates a 17-13 lead. Marsh ended game one with another kill.

Games two and three belonged to the Bearcats. A Sammons’s kill put the Bearcats up
9-4. A Marsh block and a kill by Katy Schrader gave Whitworth an 11-10 lead. Thompson’s kill put the Bearcats up 29-25, but the Pirates responded with four straight to tie the game at 29-all. Sammons put the Bearcats up by one, and then a rotation error against Whitworth gave the Bearcats game 2, 32-30.

In game three, the Bearcats scored six straight points to open up a 15-10 lead and coasted to a 30-21 victory.

In game four, it was the Pirates who opened up the early lead. A service ace by Holly Coleman put Whitworth up 18-12 and Whitworth cruised to a 30-22 win from there.

Then came the deciding game 5. Whitworth opened up a 4-1 lead behind Marsh and Natalie Danielson. The Pirates stretched the lead to 14-9 before Coach Tricia Wright called a time-out and the Bearcats rallied.

Earlier in the season, the Bearcats were down in game five by the same score, then rallied to hand PLU it’s only conference loss of the year.

Sammons led the Bearcats with 24 kills. Kristen Halleck added 21 kills and 15 digs. Thompson added 19 kills. Ronnie Schneider gathered 36 digs and Jessica Drumm had 56 assists.

Marsh’s 20 kills led Whitworth. Brittney Bower added 18 kills. Rebecca Horner notched 41 assists and Coleman recorded 30 digs.

The Bearcats face Whitman Saturday night at 6 p.m. in the Cone Field house.

Amy Sammons

Amy Sammons