Northwest Christian Defeats Willamette Volleyball in Four Sets

Beacons Win, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-15

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

EUGENE, ORE. -- Northwest Christian earned 49 kills and 11 service aces, as the Beacons defeated Willamette University, 3-1, in a non-conference volleyball match at the Morse Event Center on Tuesday, Sept. 4. NCU, which competes in the NAIA, won the match, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-15.

The Beacons upped their record to 5-5 on the season. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, fell to 0-2.

All four sets were won the by the team that achieved double-digit kills. Northwest Christian amassed 16 kills in the first set and Willamette countered with 12 kills of its own in the second set. The Beacons won a close third set by earning 14 kills, and then registered 11 kills in the fourth set.

Tami Brown of NCU led all players with 16 kills and five total blocks. Chelsea McGowan added 12 kills and a .474 hitting percentage for the Beacons, while Maren Mansfield finished with eight kills and nine digs.

Dana McGowan supplied the Beacons with a match-high 20 digs. Cori Wallace achieved 22 assists, while Alyssa Dorr earned 18 assists. Janel Fetters registered four service aces, while Mansfield added three.

For the Bearcats, Danica Reed (Sr., Arvada, CO/Ralston Valley HS) and Madisyn Leenstra (Sr., MH/OH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) each contributed nine kills. Carly Hargrave (Jr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) chipped in eight kills and four block assists.

Willamette received 13 digs from Nicole Mertens (Sr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS), while setter Emily Compton (Jr., Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) supplied the Bearcats with 28 assists and 10 digs. Kathy Lee Glenn (Sr., LIB/DS, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) also registered 10 digs.

Both teams reached double digits in serving errors. The Beacons' 11 serving errors were offset by 11 service aces. Willamette concluded the game with just one service ace and 14 serving errors.

The hitting percentages finished nearly even, with Northwest Christian hitting .120 and Willamette hitting .119. The Beacons held a 49-37 advantage in kills, but also committed 32 attacking errors, while Willamette had 21 attacking errors.

Willamette trailed 4-1 early in the first set. The Bearcats later trailed 10-6, but eventually tied the score at 14-14 on a kill by Mertens. NCU answered with a 6-0 run to take control of the set.

Northwest Christian held a 10-9 margin in the second set before WU went on an 8-0 run for a 17-10 lead. Reed served the last seven points of the run, which finished with six consecutive attacking errors by the Beacons.

Willamette later held a 24-16 lead, but NCU tallied six consecutive points, including two aces by Fetters, to pull within 24-22. Reed provided the final point for the Bearcats with a kill.

The Bearcats owned lead of 7-3 and 15-11 in the third set, but the Beacons rallied for a 16-16 tie. The teams were tied three more times before NCU tallied three points in a row for a 22-19 advantage. A few rallies later, WU cut the lead to 23-22 with two consecutive combo blocks by Hargrave and Reed.

Hargrave pulled Willamette within 24-23 on a kill, but Mansfield responded with a kill for the Beacons to end the set.

WU started fast in the fourth set with a 7-2 run. Northwest Christian countered with an 11-4 run to take a 13-11 lead. The Bearcats trailed by just a single point, 14-13, following a kill by Reed, but the Beacons scored the next six points to extend the margin to 20-13 on their way to a 25-15 win.

The Bearcats will travel to Chicago, Ill., this weekend to compete in the Dominican University Tournament. Willamette will take on Dominican and Lakeland College (Wis.) on Friday, Sept. 7, before facing Greenville College (Ill.) on Saturday, Sept. 8. WU will conclude the tournament by competing in the championship match or the consolation match, also on Saturday.

BOX SCORE
Northwest Christian University 3
Willamette University 1
NW Christian won 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 25-15
Danica Reed tied for the Willamette team lead with nine kills against the Beacons.

Danica Reed tied for the Willamette team lead with nine kills against the Beacons.