Willamette Sweeps George Fox, 3-0, in NWC Volleyball

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University achieved 43 kills in three sets, led by Jessica Durham (Sr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) with 13 and Jessica McGraw (Jr., OH, Gaston, OR/Corban College with 11, as the Bearcats swept past George Fox University, 25-20, 25-21, 26-24, on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Cone Field House. Willamette improved to 4-14 overall, 2-6 in the Northwest Conference. George Fox dropped to 10-8 overall, 4-4 in the NWC.

In addition to leading all players with 13 kills, Durham also provided the Bearcats with 11 digs. McGraw's 11 kills helped her earn a .276 hitting percentage. McGraw also achieved a match-high 13 digs.

Kelley Lindstrom (Sr., MB, Banks, OR/Banks HS) achieved eight kills during the match. She also registered a pair of powerful block assists in the third set.

Willamette setter Clare Chedester (Sr., Encinitas, CA/San Dieguito Academy) provided a solid game, as she accumulated 35 assists, six digs, two aces and two kills on seven attacks (.286). As a team, Willamette hit .171 on the night, including .303 in the second set.

Lyndsay Hovee and Natalie Pickett each contributed nine kills for George Fox. Pickett supplied a .227 hitting percentage and Hovee was successful at a .211 clip, but the Bruins managed only a .101 hitting percentage as a team.

Ali Lefebvre topped GFU with 22 assists and nine digs. Jessica Morrison registered seven block assists and one solo block, helping the Bruins produce 10.0 team total blocks for the night.

WU trailed 10-8 in the first set, but tied the score at 15-15 and moved in front for good at 17-16 on an attacking error by GFU. McGraw added a kill to give WU an 18-16 lead. The Bruins won the next rally to pull within a point, but the 'Cats countered with a 4-1 run to take a 22-18 advantage. WU led 22-19 and 24-20 before a kill by Durham completed the set.

The second set was close most of the way, but Willamette never trailed. There were five ties as the score moved up to 9-9, before the Bearcats tallied the next two points. WU took four-point leads at 16-12 and 20-16, before George Fox pulled within 21-20 on a kill by Pickett.

A kill by Durham, followed with an ace by Durham, extended the lead to 23-21. Hovee recorded a kill to cut the lead to a single point, but Lindstrom struck for Willamette with a kill. McGraw and Christina McGilvray (So., MB, Cove, OR/Cove HS) blocked an attack by Morrison of GFU to end the set.

WU battled back throughout much of the third set. The 'Cats eventually took a 20-19 lead on a kill by McGraw. The Bruins trailed 23-22, but used a kill by Pickett and a hitting error by Willamette to reach a set-point at 24-23.

After taking a timeout, the Bearcats won a lengthy rally that ended with an attack into the net by Pickett. A block by Lindstrom, assisted by Durham, gave the 'Cats a 25-24 edge. A hitting error by GFU followed, as WU secured the set and concluded the three-game sweep.

Willamette is scheduled to host Whitworth University on Friday, Oct. 17 at Cone Field House. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats also will be at home on Saturday, Oct. 18, when they host Whitman College at 5 p.m.

Willamette University 3
George Fox University 0
25-20, 25-21, 26-24
Jessica Durham contributed 13 kills and 11 digs in WU's win over George Fox.

Jessica Durham contributed 13 kills and 11 digs in WU's win over George Fox.