Bearcats Drop Tight Match to Bruins

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110 and
Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Willamette University dropped the first two sets to George Fox on Friday evening, Oct. 9. The Bearcats fought their way back to even the match at 2-2 before the Bruins eventually won, 25-15, 28-26, 18-25, 22-25 and 15-11. The Bearcats moved to 5-10 overall, 2-5 in the Northwest Conference. The Bruins climbed to 12-3 overall, 5-2 in the NWC.

Freshman Jaci Abeloe (OH, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) of Willamette led all players with 14 kills. Julie Stutzman (Jr., MH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) provided solid hitting, registering 11 kills and just two errors on 23 attempts for a .391 hitting percentage. Senior Jessie McGraw (OH, Gaston, OR/Yamhill-Carlton HS/Corban College) added 12 kills and 24 digs. Freshman setter Brigit Miller (Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) tallied 50 assists.

Lyndsay Hovee topped George Fox with 13 kills. She also achieved 18 digs. Stephanie Kerr added 11 kills. Eliza Pledger provided the Bruins with 10 kills and no errors on 19 attacks for a .526 hitting percentage. Carley Johnson led GFU with 19 digs, while Ali Toedtemeier supplied 30 assists.

For the game, the Bearcats hit .147 compared to .141 for the Bruins. Willamette registered one more kill (57) than George Fox (56). As a team, the Bearcats accumulated 9.0 blocks during the match. GFU finished with 12.0 blocks.

GFU led 11-8 in the first set, then went on a 7-1 run to take control. In the second set, Willamette overcame a 21-18 deficit to take a 25-24 lead. While battling back, WU fended off two set points to achieve a 24-24 tie, then moved in front on a service ace by Annika Moffett (So., OPP, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS). The Bearcats also were in front, 26-25, before the Bruins won three consecutive rallies to claim the set, 28-26.

After dropping the first two sets, the Bearcats came storming back in sets three and four. Abeloe and Stutzman were key down the stretch in the third set, taking turns earning kills in the 25-18 win. As the Bruins gained ground late in the fourth set, attempting a comeback, it was Abeloe who recorded the final two points for the Bearcats on consecutive kills to take the set, 25-22.

Willamette led 11-10 in the fifth set before George Fox went on a five-point run to end the set and the match. The Bruins took leads of 12-11 and 14-11 on kills by Hovee, then received the final point on a Willamette passing error. Kellie Meghini (So., LIB, Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS) served well for the Bearcats in the final set.

The Bearcats will play at Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 10. Match time in Tacoma, Wash., is slated for 7 p.m. (PDT).

George Fox University 3
Willamette University 2
25-15, 28-26, 18-25, 22-25, 15-11
Jessie McGraw earned 12 kills and 24 digs against George Fox.

Jessie McGraw earned 12 kills and 24 digs against George Fox.