Bearcats Lose Volleyball Match at Lewis & Clark, 3-1

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

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University earned 57 kills and allowed Lewis & Clark College only 49, but hitting errors by the Bearcats and strong blocking by L&C led to a 3-1 victory for the Pioneers in a Northwest Conference match on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Lewis & Clark won 26-24, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19.

The Pioneers improved to 14-10 overall, while moving to 9-4 in the NWC. Willamette ended the match at 6-17 on the season, 4-9 in the NWC.

In addition to registering eight more kills than L&C, the Bearcats also had the top two leaders in kills. Jessica Durham (Sr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) topped all players with 19. Jessica McGraw (Jr., OH, Gaston, OR/Yamhill Carlton HS/Corban College) contributed 14 for the 'Cats.

Margaret Dowling led Lewis & Clark with 10 kills. Jessamy Holland and Kelsey Clark provided the Pioneers with nine kills apiece.

In the first set, L&C took a 7-3 lead, with four points on kills by the Pioneers and three on WU attacking errors. Later, the Bearcats used a 7-3 run of their own to claim a 13-13 tie. The run included four kills by McGraw and a service ace by Jaela Dinsmore (Fr., LIB/DS, Hines, OR/Burns HS).

After Willamette tied the score, the set was close the rest of the way. L&C scored the next three points, but WU quickly countered with two kills from Durham to pull within 16-15.

The Bearcats achieved four more ties, but were unable to take the lead. After a kill by Durham produced a 24-24 tie, the Pioneers moved in front on a service error. L&C won the set with a kill by Holland.

L&C surged out to a commanding 11-3 advantage in set #2, before holding off a late rally by the 'Cats. Willamette trailed 20-14, but used a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to one point. McGraw registered three kills during the run. The Pioneers kept WU off the scoreboard for the next five points to win the set.

In the third set, the Bearcats rallied from an 11-5 deficit. WU pulled even at 18-18, and later broke a 22-22 deadlock with kills from Durham and Kelley Lindstrom (Sr., MB, Banks, OR/Banks HS). L&C fought off two set points to forge a 24-24 tie, then edged in front on an attacking error by the Bearcats.

On the ensuing set point for the Pioneers, Lindstrom smacked a kill for a 25-25 tie. Durham tacked on a service ace and McGraw added a kill to complete the set.

A kill by Lindstrom pulled Willamette within 9-8 partway into the fourth set. The Pioneers scored the next four points and never relinquished the lead in a 24-19 win. WU got as close as 16-14 on a Durham kill, but L&C used a 4-0 run to end the threat.

The Pioneers were very active on defense at the net. L&C recorded 13.0 team total blocks, including seven solo blocks. Not all of the action was positive for the home team, as the Pios also committed eight blocking errors.

Willamette was aggressive with its serving. The Bearcats produced 12 serving aces, including four each by Durham and Kellie Menghini (Fr., Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS), and also had 10 serving errors.

Durham, McGraw and setter Clare Chedester (Sr., Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) each provided 14 digs for the Bearcats. Dinsmore finished with 10 digs.

Chedester also provided a match-high 45 assists, as well as three kills and a .250 hitting percentage. Christina McGilvray (So., MB, Cove, OR/Cove HS) had seven kills and just one attacking error to hit .353.

Melody Kayser earned 20 assists and 10 digs for L&C, while Andrea Chase contributed 13 assists, four kills and a .571 hitting percentage. Dowling recorded her 10 kills on 26 total attacks and hit .308.

Willamette plays again on Friday, Oct. 31 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. Match time for the NWC encounter is slated for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Lewis & Clark College 3
Willamette University 1
26-24, 25-19, 25-27, 25-19
Jessica Durham was one of three Bearcats to achieve 14 digs against Lewis & Clark.

Jessica Durham was one of three Bearcats to achieve 14 digs against Lewis & Clark.