Willamette has Strong Start against Central (Iowa) before Falling in Five Sets

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Willamette University won the first two sets, 25-22 and 26-24, before dropping the last three to Central College (Iowa) during action at the Boxer Kickoff Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 6. The Dutch won the final three sets 25-12, 25-7 and 15-13.

Central entered the match with a 2-0 record after the first day of play at the Boxer Kickoff hosted by Pacific University. The Dutch improved to 3-1 overall. Willamette is now 0-3 on the weekend and 1-3 overall.

The Bearcats played well in the first two sets and didn't allow Central to find its groove. However, the third set proved to be a pivotal one for the Dutch, who hit .448 and allowed WU just four points when the Bearcats were serving.

The third set included a string of eight consecutive points for Central while Chelsea Grieger was serving for the Dutch. The offensive surge was part an 11-1 run that gave the Dutch a 19-6 lead.

In the fourth set, Central recorded 11 kills and did not make a single hitting error. Momentum in the match seemed to have shifted to the Dutch.

Still, the Bearcats recovered to lead for most of the final set, including an early 6-2 lead, before a series of hitting errors eventually gave the Dutch the set and the match. Ashley Ellingson registered the decisive kill for Central on an assist from Maggie Snyder.

Once again it was Jessie McGraw (OH, Gaston, OR/Corban College) leading WU with 13 kills. Brigit Miller (Fr., S, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) added 31 assists and Kathy Lee Glenn (Fr., Libero, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) contributed 18 digs. Julie Stutzman (Sr., MH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) earned eight kills and Danica Reed (Fr., OH, Arvada, CO/Arvada HS) provided seven kills.

Central's top attacker was Amy Golly with 14 kills. Ellingson and Kiley Meyers each achieved 11 kills. Snyder supplied 40 assists and Chelsea Grieger finished with 42 digs. The Dutch amassed 18.0 team total blocks.

Willamette will conclude the tournament by taking on Wartburg College (Iowa) at 3:45 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday.

Central College (Iowa) 3
Willamette University 2
22-25, 24-26, 25-12, 25-7, 15-13
Middle hitter Julie Stutzman recorded eight kills and two block assists against Central College.

Middle hitter Julie Stutzman recorded eight kills and two block assists against Central College.