Bearcats Fall to Lewis & Clark in Five Games

PORTLAND, ORE. Four Willamette University players reached double digits in kills and four recorded double-digit digs, but Lewis & Clark slipped past the Bearcats, 30-22, 28-30, 30-20, 24-30, 15-11, in a very competitive Northwest Conference match on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Pamplin Sports Center. Lewis & Clark improved its record to 6-10 overall, 4-2 in the NWC. The Bearcats moved to 3-12 overall, 0-6 in the NWC.

Edyth Lee-Barnes (Fr., OH/RS, Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS) registered 16 kills and Julie Stutzman (Fr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) provided 15 kills for Willamette. Mary Butler (So., MB, Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS) added 12 kills and Brooke Smith (So., RS, Glide, OR/Glide HS) contributed 10 kills. Willamette accumulated 64 kills overall, four more than Lewis & Clark.

Lee-Barnes also led the way on defense, with 26 digs. Alona Lyamin (Jr., DS, Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake Christian Academy/Big Bend CC) added 17 digs, while Butler earned 13, Christine Dion (Fr., DS/RS, San Jose, CA/Presentation HS/U. of Portland) supplied 12 and Jessica Drumm (Jr., S, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) recorded 10. WU achieved a total of 96 digs, compared to 85 digs for the Pioneers.

Lewis & Clark overcame its disadvantage in kills and digs by earning 19 service aces. Even so, some of L&C’s edge in serving was eliminated by 11 serving errors. On offense, the Pioneers hit .201, while limiting the Bearcats to a .139 hitting percentage.

Willamette also provided challenging serves, as the Bearcats achieved 10 serving aces. WU committed just six serving errors in the two-hour, 17-minute match.

Drumm of Willamette led all players with 49 assists. Andrea Chase recorded 31 assists for Lewis & Clark.

Willamette lost the first game, but edged the Pioneers, 30-28, in the second game. The Bearcats earned the final point in Game #2 on a kill by Stutzman.

After losing the third game, the Bearcats won the fourth game to push the match to its limit. The Bearcats took a 9-8 lead in Game #4 on a kill by Lee-Barnes, then stayed in front. Willamette eventually led, 22-12, and although L&C pulled within four points twice, the Bearcats closed out the game by scoring four of the final six points, all on kills.

In the fifth game, their were three lead changes and seven ties. The game was tied for the final time at 10-10. Lewis & Clark pulled in front on a kill by Kelsey Clark and eventually led, 13-10, before winning the game, 15-11.

Nicki Smith led the Pioneers with 17 kills, while Sara Kettler produced 13 kills. Leah Collins recorded 15 digs. Jessamy Holland and Liz Nguyen each finished with 14 digs. Kelsey Neussl led the serving efforts for L&C, as she achieved eight serving aces. Chase tacked on four serving aces.

Willamette plays in Portland again on Tuesday, Oct. 3, when the Bearcats travel to Cascade college. Match time is set for 6 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will return home for NWC matches against George Fox University on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. (PDT) and against the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. (PDT).