Bearcats Fall to #24-Ranked Whitworth, 3-0, in Spokane

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth University, ranked #24 in the NCAA Division III National Poll, defeated Willamette University, 3-0, in Northwest Conference volleyball action on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Pirates advanced their record to 16-5 on the season and retained a two-match lead in the NWC standings with an 11-1 mark. Willamette dropped to 7-14 overall, 4-8 in the NWC.

Willamette provided Whitworth with a significant battle in the first set, before the Pirates escaped with a 25-23 win. The Pirates closed out the match by taking the second set, 25-12, and winning the third set, 25-19.

Whitworth built leads of 10-6 and 14-8 in the first set, but Willamette kept battling. The Bearcats cut the lead to three points at 16-13 on a kill by Madisyn Leenstra (Jr., MH/OH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS).

Eventually Willamette tied the score at 22-22 following kills from Danica Reed (Jr., OH, Arvada, CO/Ralston Valley HS) and Shannon Waltz (So., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra HS).

The Pirates regained the lead on a serving error by the Bearcats and took a 24-22 advantage when Amanda Grumbach added a kill. Waltz pounded down an attack for Willamette to reduce the lead to a single point, but Jalana White provided the Pirates with a kill to win the set.

Leenstra paced the Willamette offense in the first set with five kills and a .385 hitting percentage. Ka-ipo Rocha of Whitworth also earned five kills in the opening set.

The first set featured plenty of offense from both teams, as Willamette earned 12 kills and hit .324, while Whitworth blasted 21 kills and achieved a .261 hitting percentage.

Willamette cooled off following the first set, as the Bearcats hit .069 in set #2 and 0.59 in the set #3. Meanwhile, Whitworth connected for a .483 hitting percentage in set #2 and a .237 attacking percentage in set #3.

In the second set, Whitworth led 19-6 on its way to a 25-12 win. The Pirates surged out to a 15-8 margin in the third set as Kaimi Rocha and Ka’ipo Rocha each contributed three kills to the fast start.

Willamette got as close as 16-12 and 17-13, but Whitworth used a 5-2 run to a 22-15 lead. The Pirates went on to win, 25-19, as Kaimi Rocha finished the set with five kills.

The Bearcats were led by Waltz, who produced eight kills and a .304 hitting percentage. She had just one attacking error on 23 attacks during the match. She also registered four total blocks.

Reed added six kills, no hitting errors and a .375 attacking percentage for Willamette. Leenstra finished with six kills, while Emily Compton (So., S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) dished out 23 assists.

Nicole Mertens (Jr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) and Kathy Lee Glenn (Jr., LIB/DS, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) each recorded eight digs. Glenn also earned two service aces.

Kaimi Rocha of Whitworth topped all players with 13 kills. Ka’ipo Rocha added 10 kills, while Amanda Grumbach and Kristine Kardell each achieved eight kills. Bree Riddle amassed 43 assists for the Pirates. Jordan Hoffnagle and Whitney Santos each provided the Pirates with 10 digs.

Whitworth University 3
Willamette University 0
Whitworth won 25-23, 25-12, 25-19
Shannon Waltz led the Bearcats with eight kills against the Pirates.

Shannon Waltz led the Bearcats with eight kills against the Pirates.