George Fox Downs Willamette, 3-1, after Bearcats Tie Match

Mertens Earns Seven Kills and 15 Digs for Bearcats

By John Lind, Student Assistant, Athletics Communications

SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University notched 40 kills in just four sets to defeat Willamette University, 3-1, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Friday, October 28 at Cone Field House. George Fox improved its record to 9-14 (4-10 NWC) while Willamette fell to 8-14 (4-9 NWC).

George Fox won the match 25-13, 17-25, 25-20, 25-15. The Bruins were led by Erin Campbell, who totaled 14 kills and 12 digs. Mackenzie Teigen provided 26 assists, and GFU held Willamette to a .030 team hitting percentage while recording 11 total blocks. The Bruins hit .105 as a team.

Madisyn Leenstra (Jr., MH/OH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) led the Bearcat attack with eight kills. Nicole Mertens (Jr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) also added seven kills and a team-high 15 digs.  Emily Compton (So., S, Portola, Calif. (Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) earned 25 assists.

Willamette was playing without Carly Hargrave (So., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) who ranks second on the team this year in both kills and hitting percentage. Prior to missing Willamette’s three most recent matches due to illness, Hargrave had started 18 of 19 matches this year.

George Fox jumped out a 7-1 lead to start the match and didn’t look back, winning the first set 25-13. The Bruins totaled 13 kills in the set to Willamette’s five.

Willamette bounced back to win the second set, 25-17. The Bearcats broke a 7-7 tie early in the set with a 12-4 run that put them up 19-11. Following a 4-0 GFU run, Willamette closed the set, utilizing three Bruin attack errors and a rare kill by Compton, the Bearcats’ setter.

The third set was the most closely contested of the match. Both teams battled back and forth, with the margin never more than two points either way, all the way up to a 20-20 deadlock.

From there, GFU took over, closing the set on a 5-0 run behind three consecutive kills from Betsy Wilhelm. For the game, the Bruins hit .167 as a team to Willamette’s .105.

The Bearcats will host Lewis & Clark College on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Cone Field House. Match time is slated for 7 p.m. (PDT).

An extended story will be posted later.

George Fox University 3
Willamette University 1
George Fox won 25-13, 17-25, 25-20, 25-15
Nicole Mertens earned seven kills and led Willamette with 15 digs.

Nicole Mertens earned seven kills and led Willamette with 15 digs.