Whitman Downs Willamette in Four Sets

Leenstra Gives Bearcats 12 Kills, Glenn Earns 17 Digs

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- The Whitman College volleyball team played well on its home court on Friday, Oct. 21, as the Missionaries defeated Willamette University, 3-1, at the Sherwood Center. Whitman won the match, 25-15, 25-20, 21-25, 25-13.

With the win, Whitman improved to 3-14 overall, 2-9 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 7-13 on the season, 4-7 in the NWC. The Bearcats played without starting middle blocker Carly Hargrave (Jr., Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS), who missed the match due to illness.

Madisyn Leenstra (Jr., MH/OH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) of Willamette continued her recent success on offense, as she recorded 12 kills to lead the Bearcats. Leenstra ranks first on the WU roster with 170 kills this season. She has earned at least eight kills in six consecutive matches.

The Missionaries and Bearcats split the season series, with each team winning on its home court. Willamette edged past Whitman at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore., on Sept. 23, as the Bearcats rallied to win, 9-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 15-10.

In Friday's rematch, Whitman was led by Jillian Davis, who recorded a match-high 16 kills to go with a .333 hitting percentage. Samantha Cahill tacked on 13 kills and hit .379, while Megan Bafus contributed 11 kills and hit .276. As a team, the Missionaries hit above .300 in three of the four sets and finished the match at .266.

Annie Sing attained 23 digs for Whitman. Taylor Aschenbrenner produced 24 assists for the Missionaries, while Rachel Cline totaled 21 assists.

Leenstra was the only Bearcat with double-digit kills. Danica Reed (Jr., OH, Arvada, CO/Ralston Valley HS) and Shannon Waltz (So., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra HS) each supplied seven kills. Waltz also led Willamette with a .312 hitting percentage for the match. Leenstra hit a solid .235.

Kathy Lee Glenn (Jr., LIB/DS, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) amassed 17 digs for Willamette, while Nicole Mertens (Jr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) provided 12 digs. Emily Compton (So., S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) achieved 30 assists.

Willamette earned 8.0 team total blocks on 16 block assists. Waltz and Kathrin Miracle (Fr., MH, Gresham, OR/Sam Barlow HS) each provided four blocks to lead the way. Whitman finished with 7.0 team blocks on 14 block assists, as Olivia Nielson recording a match-high five blocks.

Whitman amassed 57 kills during the match and gave up only 33 kills to the Bearcats. The Missionaries achieved 17 kills in the first set and added 15 in the second set. Willamette made things tougher for Whitman in the third set, as the Bearcats held the Missionaries to a .000 hitting percentage with 11 kills and 11 attacking errors. 

In the fourth set, Whitman recovered to earn 14 kills with just one attacking errors and a .542 hitting percentage.

The opening set was close in the early going with the teams tied 6-6 after 12 rallies. Whitman surged in front with a 10-2 run for a 16-8 lead. The Missionaries tallied seven kills during the run. Willamette scored the next two points, but couldn't reduce the rest of the lead.

In set #2, the Missionaries developed a 10-4 lead, but WU later cut the margin to 15-13 and 16-14 following kills by Leenstra. Whitman ended the set with a 9-6 run.

Willamette trailed 10-6 in the third set before rallying for a 25-21 win. The Bearcats fought back to tie the set at 13-13.

WU moved in front, 14-13, on a Whitman attacking error, but the teams were tied five more times. At 19-19, Willamette registered the next point on a kill by Leenstra and WU never trailed again during the set.

An 8-0 run that included four kills by Davis, helped Whitman take charge in the fourth set. The Bearcats owned a 7-6 lead before the run. Afterward, Whitman held a 14-7 advantage on its way to a 25-13 win.

The Bearcats will play the NWC leaders at #24-ranked Whitworth University (15-5, 10-1 NWC) on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Spokane, Wash. Game time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Whitman College 3
Willamette University 1
Whitman won 25-15, 25-20, 21-25, 25-13
Madisyn Leenstra registered 12 kills and earned two block assists for the Bearcats.

Madisyn Leenstra registered 12 kills and earned two block assists for the Bearcats.