FOREST GROVE - Willamette kept slim hopes of obtaining an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs alive, closing out Pacific's 2004 season with a 30-24, 30-22, 30-27 victory Saturday in Northwest Conference volleyball action at the Pacific Athletic Center.

Kristin Halleck (pictured left) led three Bearcats in double digit kills with 15 kills as the Bearcats (19-6, 13-3 NWC) outhit the Boxers .233 to .140.

Angela Sammons finished with 14 kills and Lauren Thompson had 12. Jodi Zaffino led the match with 27 assists and Veronica Schneider had 23 digs.

Shasta Cummings led Pacific (5-19, 4-12 NWC) with 11 kills. Megan Van Domelen finished with nine. Lisa Twigg led the Boxers with 16 assists and 15 digs.

Willamette took control from the start of game one, taking a 3-0 lead on Halleck's kill. The Boxers closed it to an 8-8 tie on Cummings' first kill of the evening, but watched the Bearcats build a 21-12 lead on a Lauren Thompson kill. Pacific closed it to a four-point lead, 25-21, on a Willamette service error, but three errors by the Boxers down stretch sealed it for the Bearcats, 30-24.

The Bearcats proved more dominant in game two, opening an 11-4 lead on Jordyn Smith's kill. Pacific closed it to within four, but the Bearcats extended it to a 24-16 lead on Halleck's kill. Willamette then used a balanced net attack, culminating on Christine's kill for a 30-22 win.

Pacific held the early lead to begin game three, but it was short lived as Willamette took a 5-4 lead on a Sammons' kill. The Boxers tied the game 7-7 before Willamette extended it to a 12-8 lead on a Boxer service error. The Boxers would come within once on two different occasions, but Sammons had two kills down the stretch to pace the Bearcats to the 30-27 win.

The Bearcats finish the 2004 campaign in second place in the Northwest Conference, and were the only NWC team to defeat league champion Pacific Lutheran University.

Kristen Halleck

Kristen Halleck