Bearcats Drop Close Match against Whitman

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- The Willamette University volleyball team had three players with at least ten kills against Whitman College. Still, the Bearcats fell to the Missionaries in four sets on Friday night, 22-25, 26-24, 20-25 and 28-30. WU moved to 3-6 overall and 0-1 in the Northwest Conference. Whitman climbed to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the NWC.

Jessie McGraw (Sr., OH, Gaston, OR/Yamhill-Carlton HS/Corban College), Molly Blankenship (Jr., OH, Spokane, WA/Spokane Falls CC) and Josephine Johnston (Fr., MH, Florence, MT/Florence-Carlton HS) combined to record 38 kills against the Missionaries. Johnston recorded a .500 hitting percentage after recording ten kills on twenty attempts with no errors.

Blankenship added six digs to her twelve kills. McGraw added 18 digs to her 16 kills. Setter Brigit Miller (Fr., Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) tallied 38 assists and two aces.

Whitman was led by Katie Miller with a match-high 20 kills to go with 12 digs. Courtney Brewer added 19 kills and a .444 hitting percentage. Alex Graves contributed 14 kills and 12 digs. Katie Richards earned 56 assists.

After dropping the first set, Willamette battled back to win the second set 26-24. WU led 24-23, but a kill by Brewer tied the score. Willamette closed out the set with a kill by Jaci Abeloe (Fr., OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) and a kill from Brigit Miller.

The Bearcats dropped the third set 25-20 and needed a victory in the fourth set to keep the match going. WU had a 14-6 lead in the fourth set before eventually falling 30-28.

Whitman owned a 27-26 advantage in set #4, but McGraw registered a kill to even things up. Kathy Lee Glenn (Fr., LIB, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) gave the Bearcats a 28-27 lead with a service ace. Whitman tied the score on a kill by Katie Miller, then clinched the match with a kill from Brewer and a kill by Graves.

For the match, Willamette hit .192 compared to Whitman’s .274. In the second set, which WU won, the Bearcats hit .333.

Willamette travels north to Spokane, Wash., to take on Whitworth University on Saturday, Sept. 19. The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. (PDT). Whitworth is 4-8 on the season and 0-1 in the NWC.

Willamette University 1
Whitman College 3
22-25, 26-24, 20-25 and 28-30
Molly Blankenship achieved 12 kills against Whitman. She was one of three Bearcats with 10 or more kills during the match.

Molly Blankenship achieved 12 kills against Whitman. She was one of three Bearcats with 10 or more kills during the match.