Thompson Leads Bearcats to Win Over UPS; Willamette Stays in First in NWC

SALEM, OR — Lauren Thompson hammered 18 kills in only 32 attempts as she led the Willamette University volleyball team to a three-game sweep over the University of Puget Sound at the Cone Field House Friday night.
The win keeps the Bearcats tied for first place in the Northwest Conference with a 12-4 record overall, 6-1 in the NWC.

UPS falls to 3-12 overall, 2-5 in the NWC. The Bearcats won by scores of 30-28, 30-23 and 30-21.

The Loggers started strongly in game one, taking a 7-3 lead, helped by a pair of attack errors by the Bearcats. Willamette tied the score at 10-10 on a Jordyn Smith block. The Bearcats scored five straight behind the serves of Kristen Halleck and a pair of kills by Thompson to take an 18-13 lead.

But UPS came back to tie the first game at 24-24 on a service ace by Tera Anderson. Thompson had another pair of kills late in the game as the Bearcats hung on to win game one.

Game two started the same way with UPS taking a 6-3 lead. But Angie Sammons, who leads the NWC in service aces, recorded two straight as the Bearcats pulled ahead 9-8. The Bearcats got the lead to five at 19-14 0n a Julie Christine block and another service ace by Sammons gave the Bearcats the second game, 30-23.

Game three was all Willamette as the Bearcats jumped out to a 6-1 lead behind the serves of Veronica Schneider. Halleck’s service ace made it 9-2 and the Bearcats coasted home from there.

For the match, Thompson’s 18 kills (.531 hitting percentage) and Halleck’s 12 kills led the Bearcats. Halleck also had 18 digs. Jessica Drumm had 38 assists.

Nikki Esposito’s 12 kills and 16 digs led the Loggers. Emily Sabelhaus had 28 assists.

The Bearcats play again Saturday night at home, facing Pacific University in another Northwest Conference match.

Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson