Pacific Rallies to Win First Game in Northwest Conference Victory over Willamette

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Willamette University led 29-23 in the first game of a Northwest Conference volleyball match against Pacific University on Friday, Oct. 20, before the Boxers fended off six game points during an 8-0 run to win the game. Pacific went on to defeat the Bearcats, 31-29, 30-22, 30-15, while improving to 7-14 overall, 3-8 in the NWC. Willamette, which led for most of the first game and held a 10-9 lead partway through the third game, fell to 4-17 overall, 0-11 in the NWC.

Julie Stutzman (Fr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS), who finished the match with 11 kills for Willamette, led the Bearcats’ strong start by recording six kills on nine attacks for a .667 hitting percentage in the opening game. She recorded kills to create leads of 27-21 and 28-22, before Jessica Durham (So., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) added a successful kill attempt to move Willamette within one point of winning the game.

Pacific’s comeback began with a kill by Megan Van Domelen. After providing the kill, Van Domelen served the next seven points, as the Boxers rallied to win the game. Van Domelen contributed the winning point with a serving ace. The rally also included two kills by Jill Peacock.

In the second game, the Boxers scored the first four points and later held an 18-9 lead. Willamette cut the deficit to five points at 21-16, but Pacific scored the next three points. In the third game, Willamette trailed 2-0 before going on a 7-1 run to take a four-point lead. The Bearcats also led 9-7 and 10-9, but the Boxers moved in front with three points in a row. The Bearcats pulled within 12-11 on a kill by Mary Butler (So., Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS), but Pacific countered with a 13-1 run to take control of the game. Eight of Pacific’s points in the run were recorded while Jamie Furutani served.

Stutzman’s 11 kills topped the Willamette offensive list. Butler tacked on five kills and Brooke Smith (So., RS, Glide, OR/Glide HS) provided four kills. Alona Lyamin (Jr., LIB/DS, Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake Christian Academy/Big Bend CC) registered 13 digs, while Durham supplied 12 digs. Butler led all players on both teams with four block assists. Willamette’s setter, Jessica Drumm (Jr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) accumulated 26 assists.

For Pacific, Melissa Dunn achieved 12 kills, 13 digs and two serving aces. Peacock chipped in nine kills and Caitlin Gollehon added eight kills. Anela Iseke produced 40 assists for the Boxers, while Alyssa Finn earned 12 digs.

Willamette returns home for a Northwest Conference match against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 21. Match time at Cone Field House in the Sparks Center is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).