Pacific Lutheran Clips Bearcat Volleyball, 3-1

Hargrave Achieves 16 Kills

By Sara Elcano, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

TACOMA, WASH. -- The Willamette University volleyball team dropped a Northwest Conference match to Pacific Lutheran University, 3-1, on Friday, Oct. 29. Despite a strong blocking effort by the Bearcats, the Lutes won 25-22, 20-25, 27-25, 25-19. Willamette is now 8-15 overall and 4-10 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran moved to 16-7 overall and 10-3 in the NWC.

After jumping out to an early 8-0 lead in the opening set, Willamette appeared to be on track to upset PLU. However, the Lutes slowly charged their way back to even the score at 21-21. After surrendering one point to Willamette on a kill by Carly Hargrave (Fr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS), the Lutes rattled off four straight points to win the opening set, 25-21.

It was Willamette who rallied at the end of the second set. The Bearcats had a 22-20 lead and needed just two kills from Hargrave and an attacking error by PLU to end the second set.

The third set belonged to the Lutes early. Willamette trailed by as many as eight points before clawing their way back to even the score at 19-19. With the score tied 25-25, the Lutes capitalized on a serving ace by Beth Hanna to pull within one point of victory. A Willamette attacking error ended the set.

The Lutes used momentum from the third set to close out the Bearcats 25-19 in the final set and win the match, 3-1.

The Bearcats, who hit .168 as a team, earned 47 kills. PLU actually had a lower attacking percentage than WU, hitting .142 for the match. Willamette also dominated play at the net, accumulating 11 team blocks compared to Pacific Lutheran's five.

Serving was the difference in the match for the Lutes. PLU had 14 service aces, including seven from Kelsie Moore. Willamette did not serve well, accumulating 12 service errors during the match.

Hargrave earned a match-high 16 kills and hit .419 for the match. She added one block solo and five block assists. Senior Molly Blankenship (OH, Spokane, WA/Spokane Falls CC) added 11 kills and five block assists.

Sophomore setter Brigit Miller (So., Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) had 40 assists and 16 digs.

Willamette will play its final two games of the season at home. First, the Bearcats host Whitworth University on Friday, Nov. 5. The match will begin at 7 p.m. (PDT).

The final game of the season will be against Whitman College at 6 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, Nov. 6. Following the match, Willamette will honor senior Molly Blankenship for her contributions to the WU program.

Pacific Lutheran University 3
Willamette University 1
25-22, 20-25, 27-25, 25-19
Freshman middle hitter Carly Hargrave earned 16 kills and five block assists.

Freshman middle hitter Carly Hargrave earned 16 kills and five block assists.