Hanna Leads 19th-Ranked Lutes to Win over Bearcats

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Sophomore outside hitter Beth Hanna of Pacific Lutheran University led all players with 19 kills and a .372 hitting percentage to help the Lutes defeat visiting Willamette University, 3-0, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Friday, Oct. 10. The Bearcats nearly came from behind in the first and third sets, but the Lutes held off Willamette to win 25-21, 25-19, 25-23.

Pacific Lutheran, ranked #19 in NCAA Division III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), improved to 11-5 overall and to 5-2 in the NWC. The Lutes are tied for second place in the conference. Willamette fell to 3-14 on the season, 1-6 in the NWC.

Hanna recorded her 19 kills with only three attacking errors on 43 total attacks. PLU teammate Kelsie Moore added 14 kills and a .278 hitting percentage. Sarah Beaver achieved 38 assists and 10 digs for the Lutes. Kristi Neubauer supplied 15 digs, while Katy Tauscher led all players with five block assists.

For Willamette, Jessica McGraw (Jr., OH, Gaston, OR/Corban College) provided seven kills and 10 digs. Annika Moffett (Fr., OH, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) and Jessica Durham (Sr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) each contributed six kills for the Bearcats.

Setter Clare Chedester (Sr., Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito HS) registered 21 assists and led WU with 13 digs. Joining McGraw with 10 digs apiece were Durham and Jaela Dinsmore (Fr., LIB/DS, Hines, OR/Burns HS). Christina McGilvray (So., MB, Cove, OR/Cove HS) topped Willamette with three block assists.

The first set was tied at 15-15, before PLU went on 8-1 run. The Lutes started the run with three consecutive points, then added five more after a serving error allowed WU to pull within 18-16. Willamette retaliated with a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 23-21 and force PLU to use a timeout.

Pacific Lutheran took the next two rallies to win the set. Moore recorded a kill to give PLU a 24-21 lead, then Beaver completed the set with a service ace.

PLU owned a 13-11 advantage in the second set and gradually increased the margin to seven points at 24-17. The Bearcats used a kill by Moffett and a PLU attacking error to pull within 24-19, but Erin Bremond followed with a kill for the Lutes.

The Lutes surged out to a 6-1 advantage in the third set, but WU cut the deficit to a single point at 11-10 on a kill by McGilvray. Pacific Lutheran moved back in front and eventually built a 20-14 lead.

Willamette rallied with a 9-3 run that tied the set at 23-23. WU completed its run with four unanswered points on a PLU serving error and three straight attacking errors by the Lutes. Pacific Lutheran broke the tie with a kill by Moore and ended the match with a kill by Bremond.

The Bearcats will play at home on Saturday, Oct. 11 against NWC rival George Fox University. Match time at Cone Field House on the WU campus is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Pacific Lutheran University 3
Willamette University 0
25-21, 25-19, 25-23.
Jessica McGraw earned seven kills and 10 digs against Pacific Lutheran.

Jessica McGraw earned seven kills and 10 digs against Pacific Lutheran.