Bearcats Lose to Lewis-Clark State in Championship Match at Whitworth Invitational

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Willamette University defeated Whitworth University, 3-1, in the final match of round robin play, before losing to Lewis-Clark State College, 0-3, in the championship match, at the Whitworth Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Bearcats finished the tournament in second place with a 2-2 record.

Willamette is now 2-6 on the season. Whitworth dropped to 4-3 after losing to the Bearcats, but defeated the University of Montana-Western, 3-1, in the third place match. Lewis-Clark State won the tournament at 4-0, while improving to 6-2 overall.

Lewis-Clark State won the title match 30-21, 30-19, 30-19. The Warriors placed three players in double digits for kills, as Anile Clemente recorded 14, Cintia Alessi added 11 and Julie Maciboba contributed 10. LCSC hit .331 as a team, while earning a total of 53 kills.

Mindy Meyer's of Lewis-Clark supplied the Warriors with 22 assists, while Lisa Davis provided 19 assists. Alessi topped all players with 17 digs during the match.

Willamette was led by Kelley Lindstrom (Jr., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) and Julie Stutzman (so., MB, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS), each with seven kills. Stutzman also concluded the match with a .312 hitting percentage, with only two attacking errors on 16 total attacks.

Clare Chedester (Jr., LIB/DS, Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) recorded 13 digs for the Bearcats. Christine Dion (So., RS/LIB, San Jose, CA/University of Portland) amassed nine digs and Brittany Ashby (Jr., S, Federal Way, WA/Decator HS) produced seven digs and 28 assists.

The Bearcats earned a spot in the championship match by defeating host Whitworth, 28-30, 30-27, 30-27, 30-26. Willamette limited the Pirates to a .129 team hitting percentage. The Pirates hit just .016 in the fourth game, with 10 kills and nine attacking errors. Whitworth finished with 32 attacking errors overall.

Willamette started slowly, hitting just .083 in the first game. Even so, the Bearcats rallied from a 27-24 deficit to take a 28-27 lead, before the Pirates scored three consecutive points to win the game.

In Game #2, the Bearcats improved to a .211 hitting percentage with 20 kills. Willamette built leads of 12-3 and 17-9, but Whitworth eventually pulled even at 26-26. The Pirates moved in front on a kill by Allison Sordahl, but the 'Cats tallied four straight points, including two kills by Dion that sandwiched a kill from Jessica Durham (Jr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS). The final point of the game was scored by Willamette when Sordahl committed an attacking error.

The 'Cats rallied from a 9-4 deficit to win the third game. Willamette tied the score at 16-16, before Whitworth regained the lead by a single point three times. The Bearcats tied the game again at 20-20 on a kill by Stutzman, then moved in front on a hitting error by Whitworth's Sarah Rusch. Later, the game was tied at 27-27, but Willamette recorded the next three points, including kills by Ashby and Durham to win the final two rallies of the game.

Willamette surged out to a 10-3 lead in the fourth game. The Pirates countered with a 23-17 run that cut the lead to a single point at 27-26. Lindstrom increased the lead to two points with a kill, then Rusch misfired on an attack for Whitworth. Lindstrom added another kill for the final point of the match.

Durham provided 16 kills and Lindstrom added 15 for Willamette. Rusch was Whitworth's top attacker with 22 kills, while Nikki Bardwell supplied 13 kills.

Both teams achieved impressive dig totals, as Willamette registered 127 and Whitworth amassed 123. Chedester topped all players with 34 digs for the Bearcats. Willamette also received 22 digs from Dion and 20 digs each from Durham and Edyth Lee-Barnes (So., OH/RS/Corvallis, OR/Corvallis HS). Cassie Moore led Whitworth with 35 digs. Holly Ridings chipped in 28 digs for the Pirates.

Willamette earned 64 kills, with Ashby providing 45 assists. Eight other Bearcats produced at least one assist apiece, giving Willamette 57 overall. Whitworth finished with 62 kills and also had 57 assists, with 47 credited to Ridings.

The Bearcats will return to action on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. The match, which will be the Northwest Conference opener for both teams, is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Match #1 - Willamette defeated Whitworth, 28-30, 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 - Box Score
Match #2 - Lewis-Clark State defeated Willamette, 30-21, 30-19, 30-19 - Box Score