Butler Leads Bearcats with 13 Kills, as Willamette Routs Cascade, 30-18, 30-20, 30-12

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University achieved a .305 team hitting percentage and middle blocker Mary Butler (So., Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS) provided 13 kills, as the Bearcats routed Cascade College, 30-18, 30-20, 30-12, on Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Portland, Ore. The Bearcats improved to 4-12 overall, while the Thunderbirds fell to 1-16 on the season.

Butler hit .632 for the Bearcats during the match, as she earned her 13 kills with just one error and 19 total attacks. She also provided two serving aces, one block solo and one block assist. She leads WU with a .213 hitting percentage for the season, while contributing 108 kills and 42 total blocks.

Twelve Willamette players recorded at least one kill against the Thunderbirds. Jordyn Smith (Jr., RS, Las Vegas, NV/Green Valley HS) and Kelley Lindstrom (So., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) were credited with five kills apiece, while two other Bearcats produced three kills and four WU players achieved two kills. Willamette committed only five attacking errors, with just three errors in the first game and only two errors in the third game.

Alona Lyamin (Jr., LIB/DS, Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake Christian Academy)/Big Bend CC) contributed solid defensive play with a team-high 14 digs. Edyth Lee-Barnes (Fr., OH/RS, Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS) added 10 digs, helping the Bearcats record 53 digs overall.

Willamette earned 11 serving aces, compared with four serving aces for Cascade. The Bearcats also benefited from 16 assists by starter Jessica Drumm (Jr., S, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and 11 assists by reserve setter Brittany Ashby (Fr., Federal Way, WA/Decator HS).

Cascade’s top attackers were Vanessa Fleetwood, who hit .308 and supplied six kills, and Alicia Charles, who registered six kills. Charles also produced a game-high 15 digs. Fleetwood, the Thunderbirds’ setter, led all players with 17 assists, but CC managed only a .048 team hitting percentage.

WU surged out to a 10-3 lead in the first game, before expanding the lead to 18-8. Later in the game, Butler provided kills resulting in leads of 21-11 and 26-16. Willamette won the game, 30-18.

In the second game, Willamette scored the first three points and quickly amassed a 10-2 margin. The score moved to 14-6, and eventually reached 19-10 on a serving ace by Smith. The Bearcats were never seriously threatened during the remainder of the game. The 30-20 victory gave WU a 2-0 lead in the match.

The teams exchanged points early in the third game and Cascade held a 5-4 lead following a blocking error by the Bearcats. Willamette tacked on a 4-0 run to regain the lead, then gradually pulled away from the Thunderbirds. The successful efforts of the Bearcats included a 7-0 run to turn an 11-7 lead and into an 18-7 rout. Willamette registered 15 kills during the third game, including five by Butler.

Willamette plays two home matches later this week. The brief homestand will begin with Willamette hosting George Fox University on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will remain at home on Saturday, Oct. 7, to face the University of Puget Sound at 7 p.m. (PDT).