Bearcats Fall to Pirates, 3-2, after Whitworth Wins Final Two Games

SALEM, OR --Whitworth College rallied to defeat Willamette University, 3-2, in a Northwest Conference match on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Cone Field House. Whitworth moved to 2-11 on the season, 1-1 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 3-8 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

The first three games were decided by identical 30-24 margins, with Willamette winning the first and third contests and Whitworth taking the second. The Pirates trailed 2-1 before the start of the fourth game, but claimed a 30-21 win to tie the match, then won the fifth game, 15-4.

Whitworth received a match-high 21 kills from Angie Florence and 15 kills from Nikki Bardwell. The Pirates achieved a .221 team hitting percentage, plus a solid 7.0 team blocks on 14 block assists.

Bardwell hit .344 for WC, while Florence earned a .304 attack percentage. Holly Ridings provided 44 assists and 12 digs for the Pirates, while Cassi Moore led all players with 33 digs. Tamra Stark led Whitworth's blocking efforts with six block assists.

The Bearcats placed three players in double-figures for kills. Julie Stutzman (Fr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) led Willamette with 18 kills, while Kelley Lindstrom (So., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) recorded 13 kills and Brooke Smith (So., RS, Glide, OR/Glide HS) added 10 kills.

Willamette hit just .133 for the match, but produced a .255 hitting percentage in the first game, with 18 kills and six errors on 47 total attacks. The Bearcats registed 12 service aces, but also committed 20 serving errors.

Setter Jessica Drumm (Jr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) contributed 47 assists, 10 digs, five kills and two block assists for Willamette. Jessica Durham (So., LIB, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) achieved 22 digs, while Stuzman supplied 14 digs.

Willamette accumulated 5.0 team total blocks. Mary Butler (So., MB, Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS) provided one block solo and three block assists for the Bearcats.

The next action for Willamette is set for Friday, Sept. 22, when Pacific University will arrive at Cone Field House for a Northwest Conference match. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).