Wartburg Wins Close Match with Willamette, 29-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-23

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Wartburg College won a four-set battle with Willamette University, 29-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-23, as both teams concluded the Boxer Kickoff Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 6 at Pacific University. The Knights improved to 2-2 on the season, while Willamette fell to 1-4.

Wartburg earned a 2-2 record during the tournament. Willamette went 0-4 during the event.

The Bearcats surged out to a 6-2 lead in the opening set, but the Knights countered with a 13-5 run to claim a 15-11 advantage. Willamette eventually tied the score at 25-25 and moved within a point of winning the set following an attacking error by the Knights.

Wartburg scored the next two points for a 27-26 lead. Jessie McGraw (Sr., OH, Gaston, OR/Yamhill-Carlton HS/Corban College) registered a kill for Willamette to force another tie. The Knights responded with a kill by Taylor Sloter, and won the set on an attacking error by Willamette.

Kathy Lee Glenn (Fr., LIB, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) served six consecutive points for Willamette to begin the second set. The Bearcats never trailed during the set, but were tied by the Knights at 14-14. WU regained the lead on a Wartburg attacking error that started a 6-2 run for the Bearcats. WU led by at least three points the rest of the way.

In the third set, Wartburg achieved a .366 team hitting percentage. The Knights recorded 19 kills during the set. Willamette held a 17-14 edge following a kill by Danica Reed (Fr., OH, Arvada, CO/Arvada HS), but Wartburg answered with an 11-5 run to conclude the stanza.

Wartburg was in front 16-13 in the fourth set, but the Bearcats tied the score at 16-16, 17-17 and 20-20. The Knights took a 22-20 advantage and later owned a 24-23 margin. Britlyn Sieck of Wartburg provided the winning kill to end the set and the match.

McGraw produced a double-double for Willamette, as she finished with 21 kills and 26 digs. Reed contributed 14 kills and 14 digs, while Jaci Abeloe (Fr., OPP, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) achieved nine kills. Setter Brigit Miller (Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) provided 49 assists, nine digs and four block assists. Josephine Johnston (Fr., MH, Florence, MT/Florence-Carlton HS) registered five block assists.

Sieck led the way for Wartburg with 16 kills. Kahri Heinemann added 11 kills and Britney Hermsen supplied 42 assists. Channing Merchant concluded the match with 23 digs for the Knights. Sofie Swift earned seven total blocks.

Willamette will play at Evergreen State College on Monday, Sept. 7. Match time in Olympia, Wash., is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will return home to host Warner Pacific College on Saturday, Sept. 12, starting at 7 p.m.

Wartburg College (Iowa) 3
Willamette University 1
29-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-23
Jessie McGraw achieved her third double-double of the season with 21 kills and 26 digs versus Wartburg.

Jessie McGraw achieved her third double-double of the season with 21 kills and 26 digs versus Wartburg.