Linfield Sweeps Bearcats in NWC Match, 3-0

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College defeated Willamette University 3-0 in Northwest Conference volleyball on Saturday, Sept. 27. The Wildcats won 25-17, 25-10, 25-21 to improve to 6-2 on the season, 2-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 3-11 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.

Samantha Lau paced Linfield's attack with 17 kills and a .469 hitting percentage, as she helped the Wildcats earn 55 kills overall. Emily Vuylsteke provided 13 kills, while Kelsey French added 10 kills. The Wildcats achieved a .422 team hitting percentage.

Three Wildcats finished with more than 10 digs. Rachael Rahn contributed 16, while Lau and French each accumulated 13. Stephanie Purser dished out 48 assists.

Jessica Durham (Sr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) of Willamette registered eight kills, nine digs and three service aces. Clare Chedester (Sr., S/LIB, Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) supplied the Bearcats with 12 assists and 12 digs.

Willamette's Kelley Lindstrom (Sr., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS) had just seven total attacks, but recorded three kills and no errors for a .429 hitting percentage. Christina McGilvray (So., MB, Cove, OR/Cove HS) achieved four kills and just one error on 11 attacks for a .273 percentage. Jaela Dinsmore (Fr., LIB/DS, Hines, OR/Burns HS) was credited with nine digs for the Bearcats.

The Bearcats hit .109 for the match, but had had only 11 attacking errors. Linfield limited Willamette's offensive success by recording 64 digs.

Linfield built a 10-2 lead at the start of the first set. The Bearcats cut the margin to four points at 16-12, following four straight points on a kill and an ace by Durham, plus kills from Annika Moffett (Fr., OH, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Carli Sash (Fr., OH, Jacksonville, OR/South Medford HS). The Wildcats scored the next two points and eventually led 21-13, before taking the set, 25-17.

The second set was tied 3-3, before Linfield ran off nine consecutive points for a 12-3 advantage. Linfield won the set, 25-10.

In the third frame, the Wildcats took a 5-0 lead. Willamette tallied the next six points to move in front and later scored three points in a row -- including two aces by McGilvray -- for an 11-8 margin.

Linfield tied the set at 11-11 and 12-12, but the Bearcats went on a 5-1 run to take a four-point lead at 17-13. The Wildcats countered with a 7-0 run, as Linfield took a 20-18 lead. WU pulled within a single point at 21-20 on a kill by Moffett, but Linfield closed out the match by winning four of the next five rallies.

Willamette will host Lewis & Clark College in Northwest Conference action on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Match time at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore., is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Linfield College defeated Willamette University, 25-17,2 5-10, 25-21
Jessica Durham earned eight kills and nine digs against Linfield.

Jessica Durham earned eight kills and nine digs against Linfield.