Volleyball Drops Season Opener at Western Oregon

By Sara Elcano, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

MONMOUTH, ORE. -- The Willamette University volleyball team traveled 18 miles to Western Oregon University to open its 2010 season against the NCAA Division II school. The Bearcats were defeated in straight sets by the host team, 25-12, 25-17 and 25-15.

The match was the first of the season for both schools, resulting in a 1-0 record for WOU and a 0-1 record for WU. Western Oregon is now 27-7 in the all-time series between the schools. This match marked the first time the two teams have played a regular season match since 1997.

The teams battled back and forth in the opening set before the Wolves rattled off six straight points to take a 16-10 lead. WOU never looked back, capturing a 25-12 victory.

The story was more of the same for the Bearcats in the second set. Willamette held its own early, pulling within three at 14-11 following back-to-back attacking errors by the Wolves. WOU recovered and controlled the second half of the set, winning 25-17.

Serving proved to be the recipe for success in the final set for WOU, as the Wolves rattled off eight serving aces and rolled to a 25-15 victory.

Hitting errors hurt Willamette throughout the night, as the team ended the match with a -.050 hitting percentage. The Wolves finished with a .189 hitting percentage. WOU tallied 16 serving aces on the night.

Willamette will need to bounce back quickly, as the Bearcats travel to Forest Grove, Ore., to take part in the Boxer Kickoff Tournament this weekend. WU is scheduled to play Bethel University (Minn.) on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. (PDT).

The Bearcats will continue the tournament by playing SUNY Oneonta (N.Y.) at 5 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Nebraska Wesleyan University on Sunday at 3:45 p.m., before traveling to Warner Pacific College in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

BOX SCORE
Western Oregon University 3
Willamette University 0
25-12, 25-17, 25-15
Danica Reed achieved six digs against Western Oregon in the season opener.

Danica Reed achieved six digs against Western Oregon in the season opener.