Bearcats Upend Evergreen State, 3-1, at Cone Field House

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Jessica McGraw (Jr., OH, Gaston, OR/Corban College) registered 15 kills, while Jessica Durham (Sr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) and Carli Sash (Fr., OH, Jacksonville, OR/South Medford HS) each contributed 14 kills, leading Willamette University to a 3-1 victory over visiting Evergreen State College on Wednesday, Sept. 3. WU won the match 27-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-15.

Willamette hit .224 as a team, while limiting the Geoducks (goo-ee-ducks) to a .159 hitting percentage. Evergreen State was led by Kandice Gleaves, who produced 14 kills and by Annie Forman, who recorded 20 digs .

The Bearcats improved to 2-4 on the season. Evergreen State dropped to 0-4.

Willamette held a 12-6 lead in the first set, but the Geoducks went on a 9-2 run to move in front, 15-14. The Bearcats also trailed 20-17 and were behind by two points, 23-21, following a kill by ESC's Jessica Dubois.

The 'Cats scored the next two points on an Evergreen serving error and an ace by Kelley Lindstrom (Sr., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) to forge a 23-23 tie. WU fell behind on an other kill by Dubois, but staved off a set point with a kill from McGraw.

A serving error by McGraw gave ESC another set point at 25-24, before WU rattled off three points in a row to win the set. The first point was scored on a bad set by Katie Huston for the Geoducks. Durham slammed home a kill to give WU a 26-25 lead, then Huston committed another setting error.

In the second set, WU never trailed. The score was tied four times early in the set, but the Bearcats went in front for good, 10-9, on a kill by McGraw. Later, Willamette owned a 14-13 advantage, then pulled away with a 7-0 run. Clare Chedester (Sr., LIB/S, Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito HS) served the final six points of the offensive surge.

The 25-16 win gave the Bearcats a 2-0 lead in the match. Evergreen State claimed a 25-19 victory in the third set to force a fourth stanza. Gleaves earned four kills with no errors on seven attacks (.571 hitting percentage) during the set. WU led 10-9 before Evergreen went on a 13-5 run to take control at 22-15.

Willamette was in charge throughout the fourth set. The Bearcats earned a .346 hitting percentage and had six service aces. Chedester, who played libero during the first three stanzas, moved to setter and earned 10 assists. Sash contributed four kills and McGraw added three. WU never trailed during the set and ESC never got closer than two points. Willamette held leads of 13-9 and 18-11, before claiming a 25-15 triumph.

The Bearcats have played six matches in six days, including two on Friday and two on Saturday at the Bruin-Wildcat Invitational at George Fox University. Willamette will not play again until Friday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 13 at the California Lutheran University Tournament in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Willamette University defeated Evergreen State College, 27-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-15
Outside hitter Jessica Durham achieved 14 kills and 17 digs against Evergreen State.

Outside hitter Jessica Durham achieved 14 kills and 17 digs against Evergreen State.