Bruins Hold Off Bearcats for 3-1 Victory over Willamette

By Neil Patel, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6804

SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University defeated Willamette University in four games on Friday, Oct. 26, but the Bruins had to battle for the win, as the Bearcats won Game #1 and played the Bruins tough in Game #3 and most of Game #4. The Bruins held off Willamette's charge to win the match, 27-30, 30-18, 30-28, 30-21.

George Fox improved to 11-11 overall and to 5-9 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats dropped to 4-19 on the season, 0-13 in the NWC.

For the Bearcats, Jessica Durham (Jr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) led the way with 16 kills, four service aces and 12 digs. Julie Stutzman (So., MB, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) added nine kills, five digs, two service aces, and four total blocks. Kelley Lindstrom (Jr., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) earned 18 kills and eight digs, while Clare Chedester (Jr., LIB/DS, Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) provided a team-high 17 digs.

Willamette played without starting setter Brittany Ashby (Jr., Federal Way, WA/Decatur HS), who missed the match due to an injury. Christine Dion (So., LIB/RS) filled in at setter and contributed 41 assists. She also recorded 13 digs four kills and two block assists.

George Fox was paced by Jennifer Panico, who earned 17 kills and had 19 digs. Jessica Morrison supplied 11 kills and three block assists for the Bruins. Whitney Kolb earned 10 kills. Amy Batchelder recorded a game-high 20 digs and recorded 38 assists.

The opening game was a battle, as neither team led by more than five points. Willamette held leads of 18-14 and 23-18, but George Fox climbed back to within a point at 23-22. Lindstrom and Durham combined for four kills (two apiece) the rest of the way, as the Bearcats went on 7-5 run to win the game, 30-27.

George Fox was in front just 9-7 after 16 points in the second game, but the Bruins later achieved an 18-9 lead, which the Bearcats were unable to overcome. George Fox won 12 of the final 21 points to finish the game with a 30-18 advantage.

The third game featured 10 ties and seven lead changes. Willamette led 23-20 and 26-25 before the Bruins went on a 5-2 run to finish the game. The Bruins won 30-28 to take a 2-1 lead overall.

George Fox registered 14 kills in the fourth game to complete the match. The Bruins trailed 3-1, but never trailed again. Willamette kept the game close at 8-8 and 16-16 but the Bruins registered seven of the next ten points to open up a 23-19 lead. George Fox added a 7-2 run to finish the game with a 30-21 win.

The teams were virtually even in kills, as the Bruins recorded 57 and Willamette achieved 56. GFU gained an edge in serving, as the Bruins earned eight service aces with just four serving errors, while the Bearcats had nine aces and committed 11 serving errors.

George Fox also produced 11.0 team total blocks on four block solos and 14 block assists. Willamette claimed 8.0 team total blocks, with a block solo by Stutzman and a combined 14 block assists from six different players.

Willamette will play at home in a Northwest Conference match against Lewis and Clark College on Saturday, Oct. 27. Match time in Salem, Ore., is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 1
George Fox University 3
George Fox University won 27-30, 30-18, 30-28, 30-21

Kelley Lindstrom led all players with 18 kills in WU's volleyball match against George Fox on Oct. 26.

Kelley Lindstrom led all players with 18 kills in WU's volleyball match against George Fox on Oct. 26.