Bearcats Win Second Set in 3-1 Loss to 15th-Ranked Loggers

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Willamette University won the second set against the 15th-ranked University of Puget Sound volleyball team on Friday, Oct. 24 to even the contest at 1-1, but the Loggers took the final two sets to win the match, 3-1, at Stadium High School. UPS, ranked nationally in the AVCA Poll for NCAA Division III, moved to 14-6 on the season, 9-3 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 6-15 overall, 4-7 in the NWC. The loss ended WU's three-match winning streak.

Jessica McGraw (Jr., OH, Gaston, OR/Corban College) of Willamette led all players with 20 kills. Jessica Durham (Sr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) added 14 kills and 10 digs for the Bearcats. Clare Chedester (Sr., S/LIB, Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) contributed 39 assists

Kalli Kamphaus and Lindsey Denman of Puget Sound recorded 12 kills apiece. Natalie Monro earned 10 kills and Juliette Witous supplied 16 digs. Jamee Fred had 28 assists and Stephanie Harvey tacked on 19 assists.

Puget Sound's head coach, Mark Massey, earned his 500th career victory. Massey has been a head coach at Syracuse University, Northeastern University, California State University-Los Angeles and UPS. His record since arriving at UPS in 1996 improved to 229-104.

The Loggers created 16 kills and a .297 hitting percentage in the first set, while holding Willamette's attack to just eight kills and a hitting percentage of .033. Kamphaus and Erika Green each provided UPS with four kills during the set. Durham had four of WU's eight kills, while recording no errors on 11 total attacks (.364 hitting percentage).

In the second set, the Bearcats took an 8-7 lead on a kill by Durham and never trailed again. Even so, WU owned a slim 19-18 lead following a 4-1 run by the Loggers. Willamette won the next two points to start a 6-3 run that closed out the set. The frame included solid hitting by both teams, as WU earned 17 kills and a hitting percentage of .406, and UPS achieved 12 kills and hit .407.

WU battled back from a 20-16 deficit in set #3 to pull within 22-20 on an assisted block by McGraw and Kelley Lindstrom (Sr., MB, Banks, OR/Banks HS). UPS registered the next three points on a Willamette serving error, an attacking error by the Bearcats and an assisted block by the Loggers.

Puget Sound surged out to a 13-4 lead in the fourth set on its way to a 25-14 victory. Kamphaus accumulated four kills during the set, while Denman, Natalie Monro and Kelsie Telge added three each for the Loggers.

For the match, UPS hit .328 with 50 kills and just 12 attacking errors. Willamette finished at .143 with 44 kills and 26 errors. The teams were nearly even in digs, with Willamette at 51 and Puget Sound at 50. The Loggers gained an edge in blocks, ending the match with 9.0 as a team, compared to 4.0 team total blocks for the Bearcats.

Willamette returns home to host Linfield College on Saturday, Oct. 25. Match time at Cone Field House on the WU campus is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

University of Puget Sound 3
Willamette University 1
25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 25-14.
Jessica McGraw led all players with 20 kills in Willamette's match at Puget Sound.

Jessica McGraw led all players with 20 kills in Willamette's match at Puget Sound.