Bearcats Fall to 10th-Ranked Puget Sound, 3-0

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The University of Puget Sound, ranked #10 in NCAA Division III, defeated Willamette University, 25-15, 25-18, 25-22, on Friday, Sept. 26 at Cone Field House. UPS moved to 9-3 overall and remained undefeated in the Northwest Conference at 4-0. Willamette dropped to 3-10 overall, 1-2 in the NWC.

Lindsey Denman recorded eight kills, no attacking errors and a .571 hitting percentage to lead the Loggers' attack. Willamette's offense was led by senior outside hitter Jessica Durham (Medford, OR/North Medford HS), who registered eight kills and 15 digs.

UPS held a 6-4 lead early in the first set, then pulled away with a 13-1 run. The outburst started with two consecutive points for UPS, then Willamette won a rally to pull within 8-6. The Loggers tallied the next 11 points to take control of the set.

Puget Sound gradually pulled away in the second set. The Loggers led 5-4 and 11-5, but the Bearcats were within striking distance at 13-9 after an attacking error by the Loggers. UPS responded with a 5-1 run that increased the margin to eight points at 18-10. The Loggers led by at least seven point during the remainder of the set, as UPS took a 2-0 lead.

The Bearcats trailed 5-2 early in the third frame, but took a 9-8 lead on a kill by Durham. Later, the Bearcats held a 16-13 advantage. WU owned a 22-16 advantage following two serving aces in a row by Carli Sash (Fr., OH, Jacksonville, OR/South Medford HS).

Denman, who recorded five kills in the first set and did not play in the second set or most of the third set, returned to the court for the Loggers. She earned three kills on three attacks to help UPS close the set with a 9-0 run. Courtney Kandler served the final eight points of the match.

One of Denman's kills tied the set at 22-22 and her final kill gave the Loggers a 23-22 lead. Kandler added the next point with a service ace and Kalli Kamphaus provided the final point with a kill.

UPS hit .206 as a team and had 32 kills with only 11 attacking errors. Denman's eight kills were followed by seven kills from Natalie Monro. Juliette Witous provided the Loggers with 11 digs, while Brynn Blickenstaff added eight. Jamee Fred earned 16 assists in the first two sets, with Erika Greene supplying 11 assists in the third.

Durham's eight kills topped WU's attacking chart. Sash contributed five kills. On defense, Durham's 15 digs led the way, while Sash and Christine Dion (Sr., S, San Jose, CA/University of Portland) each achieved 10 digs.

Clare Chedester (Sr., S/LIB, Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) provided Willamette with 11 assists. Dion achieved seven assists.

The Bearcats will play at NWC opponent Linfield College on Saturday, Sept. 27. Match time in McMinnville, Ore., is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

University of Puget Sound defeated Willamette University, 25-15, 25-18, 25-22
Clare Chedester sets the ball during tournament action earlier this year.

Clare Chedester sets the ball during tournament action earlier this year.