Bruins Defeat Bearcat Volleyball in NWC Action, 3-1

By Sara Elcano, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University lost in four sets to visiting George Fox University, 3-1, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Cone Field House. The Bruins won, 27-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, to improve to 8-12 overall, 3-7 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 7-12 on the season, 3-7 in conference play.

Willamette and George Fox battled to a 25-25 tie in the first set before the Bruins received kills from Kristin Knaupp and Isabel Valentine to claim the win. As a result, GFU carried momentum into the second set.

Even so, the Bearcats had an early 11-7 lead in the second set. The Bruins responded by running off seven straight points to take a 14-11 lead. Willamette was never able to recover from the scoring streak by GFU and lost, 25-17.

In the third set, Willamette hit .275 as a team and held George Fox to a team hitting percentage of .118. The Bearcats had 16 kills in the set and held the lead from beginning to end.

Willamette was able to stay within a few points throughout the final set but could never move in front of the Bruins. George Fox hit .279 in the fourth set while Willamette hit .278.

Molly Blankenship (Sr., OH, Spokane, WA/Spokane Falls CC) had a team-high 13 kills for the Bearcats. She added eight digs and three block assists. Madisyn Leenstra (So., M, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) and Shannon Waltz (Fr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra HS) each provided 11 kills. Willamette finished the game with a .197 hitting percentage.

Emily Compton (So., S, Portola, CA/Boise State Univ.) registered 43 assists, 13 digs, two serving aces and two block assists for Willamette.

Isabel Valentine finished with a match-high 15 kills for George Fox. She led a Bruin attack that finished with a .181 hitting percentage. Eliza Pledger added 13 kills. Ali Toedtemeier contributed 45 assists for the Bruins.

The Bearcats' next match is on Friday, Oct. 22 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

George Fox University 3
Willamette University 1
27-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21
Molly Blankenship recorded 13 kills and eight digs for Willamette.

Molly Blankenship recorded 13 kills and eight digs for Willamette.