Butler Hits .273 for Bearcats in Loss to Linfield

SALEM, ORE. -- Mary Butler (So., MB, Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS) led Willamette University with seven kills and a team-high .273 hitting percentage, but Linfield College, ranked #7 in the CSTV/AVCA Poll for NCAA Division III, defeated the Bearcats, 30-19, 30-16, 30-22, in a Northwest Conference match on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Cone Field House. Linfield extended its school record start to 12-0 overall, including 5-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 3-11 overall, 0-5 in the NWC.

Butler, who is hitting .289 in Northwest Conference matches this season, was Willamette’s top performer against the Wildcats. In addition to her team-high for kills, she also had only one attacking error on 22 attacks and led the Bearcats with two block assists.

Brooke Smith (So., RS, Glide, OR/Glide HS) and Edyth Lee-Barnes (Fr., OH/RS, Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS) each added six kills for Willamette, while Jessica Durham (So., LIB, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) registered 11 digs. Jessica Drumm (Jr., S, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) supplied 20 assists and 10 digs. Willamette recorded 44 digs and earned four serving aces.

Willamette provided a strong battle in the third game. LC led 5-2 and eventually held a 10-5 margin, but the
Bearcats cut the deficit to a single point, 10-9. Willamette was within two points at 15-13, before Linfield recorded back-to-back scores. Linfield remained in front by at least three points the rest of the way.

Lauren Kreiger recorded 15 kills, 12 digs and four block assists to the lead the Wildcats. Katelyn Baker contributed 12 kills for the Wildcats, while Kelsey French chipped in nine kills. Chelsey Gellatly registered 24 assists, four kills and five digs, while playing two games as the Wildcats’ setter. Stephanie Purser added 15 assists in the third game.

Linfield accumulated 69 digs, led by libero Hanna Veley with 17. Michelle Wyatt matched Kreiger for second on the team with 12 digs. The Wildcats hit .308 as a team, with 51 kills during the match.

The next match for the Bearcats is Saturday, Sept. 30 at Lewis & Clark College. Game time in Portland, Ore., is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).