Lindstrom and Durham Both Pound Out 15 Kills, but George Fox Edges Willamette in Three Close Games

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Willamette University outside hitters Kelley Lindstrom (So., Banks, OR/Banks HS) and Jessica Durham (So., Medford, OR/North Medford HS) each connected for a match-high 15 kills, but the Bearcats fell to George Fox University in three close games on Friday, Nov. 3, in a Northwest Conference match at the Wheeler Sports Center. GFU edged past Willamette, 31-29, 30-28, 30-26, as the Bruins moved their record to 10-16 overall and improved to 6-9 in the NWC. The Bearcats went to 4-21 overall, 0-15 in the NWC.

The match featured 32 ties and 15 lead changes, including 16 ties and seven lead changes in the third game alone. Statistics from the match also indicated a highly-competitive evening of volleyball, as George Fox managed a 49-44 edge in kills and a 57-55 advantage in digs, but the Bearcats earned one more team block (7.0 to 6.0). Even the serving was basically even, as each team registered three more aces than serving errors. Willamette finished with 11 aces and eight errors, while the Bruin’s were credited with seven aces and four errors.

In the first game, Willamette held leads of 20-16, 27-22 and 28-24, before GFU rallied to win with a 7-1 run. The Bruins tied the game, 28-28, on a service ace by Lani Rasmussen. After GFU moved in front, 29-28, the Bearcats pulled even with a kill by Durham. George Fox scored the next point on a kill by Karina Philliber, then won the game when Willamette committed an attacking error.

The second game almost featured a reversal from Game #1, as the Bruins built leads of 17-13, 25-15 and 27-20, only to have the Bearcats surge back with an 8-2 run. Lindstrom registered two kills during the run. Willamette cut the lead to a single point, 29-28, on an attacking error by Philliber. GFU salvaged the game when Durham made an attacking error during the next rally.

The back-and-forth third game, with its 16 ties and seven lead changes, nonetheless featured two runs. WU put together the first run to rally from a 10-9 deficit and take a 19-13 lead. The 10-3 run by the Bearcats included three kills by Lindstrom. Willamette’s momentum was countered with a 6-0 run by the Bruins that created a 19-19 tie.

Willamette held a 23-22 led before GFU ran off four consecutive points. The next rally to WU on a kill from Lindstrom, but the Bruins responded with three kills in a row for a 29-24 lead. Willamette fended off two match points with kills by Durham and setter Jessica Drumm (Jr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS). The final point of the match went to George Fox on a kill supplied by Philliber.

Lindstrom was Willamette’s offensive star. Her 15 kills were earned with just two errors on 29 attacks. She led all players with a .448 hitting percentage on the night. Lindstrom has now registered 15 or more kills in four consecutive matches. Durham’s 15 kills were supplemented with 15 digs and three block assists. Mary Butler (So., MB, Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS) added nine kills and a .350 hitting percentage, while Alona Lyamin (Jr., LIB/DS, Moses Lake, WA/Moses Lake Christian Academy/Big Bend CC) provided a match-high 17 digs.

Drumm supplied the Bearcats with 41 assists and seven digs. The Bearcats also benefited from one block solo and 12 block assists, led by Butler, who earned five block assists during the match.

George Fox placed three players in double figures for kills. Philliber amass 13 kills to go with 11 digs. Elizabeth Anderson tacked on 12 kills and a team-high five total blocks. Holly Hutchinson produced 10 kills for the Bruins.

Amy Knight dished out 43 assists and was credited with eight digs. Sarah Burkey led the Bruins with 15 digs. GFU achieved a .212 team hitting percentage, while Willamette ended the night with a .174 hitting percentage.

The Bearcats will conclude the season with a Northwest Conference match at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 4. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PST).