Willamette Falls to Dominican in Five Sets during Star Classic Championship

Reed and Leenstra are Selected for the All-Tournament Team

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

RIVER FOREST, ILL. -- Willamette University fell to Dominican University in a five-set thriller, 3-2, in the championship match of the 2012 Star Classic on Saturday, Sept. 8. It was the second five-set win for the Stars over the Bearcats in as many days. Dominican also edged out the Bearcats, 3-2, in a preliminary match on Friday.

The Bearcats earned a berth in the championship match by placing second during preliminary play. Willamette finished the prelims with a 2-1 tournament record after defeating Greenville University (Ill.), 3-0, in the Bearcats final match of the prelims. WU downed Greenville, 25-15, 25-20, 25-19.

In the championship match, Dominican outlasted Willamette, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-27, 15-9.

All-Tournament Team

Willamette players Danica Reed (Sr., OH, Arvada, CO/Ralston Valley HS) and Madisyn Leenstra (Sr., MH/OH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) were named to the All-Tournament Team. Jacy Lawrence of Dominican was chosen Tournament MVP. Also named All-Tournament were Jessica Guerrieri from Dominican, Katie Freitag from Lakeland and Ellen Lueking from Greenville.

Championship Match

The Bearcats took a 7-2 lead over Dominican in the first set of the title match, but the Stars went on a 9-3 run to surge in front, 11-10. Later, WU trailed 16-14, before kills by Reed and Leenstra, plus four attacking errors by Dominican, helped the Bearcats claim a 20-17 lead.

Willamette led 21-19 after a successful attack by Nicole Mertens (Sr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS). Dominican countered with a 6-0 run to win the set, starting with a kill by Guerrieri and ending with a solo block by Missy Budz.

WU prevailed in the second set after trailing 17-12. A kill by Reed gave the Bearcats a 19-18 edge, but DU won 4 of the next 5 rallies for a 22-20 advantage. A kill by Reed and two kills by Leenstra put Willamette in front, 23-22.

After the Bearcats scored again, Dominican pulled within 24-23. WU followed with a combo block by Leenstra and Carly Hargrave (Jr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) to win the set.

Dominican held a 13-6 lead partway through Set #3. The Stars also led 21-11, but WU got as close as 23-20 before kills by Lawrence and Caitlen Foote ended the set.

The fourth set featured nine ties and four lead changes. Dominican owned a 16-11 margin following a kill by Becca Fritz. Willamette responded by tying the score at 17-17. WU eventually led 22-19 on a kill by Reed. The next four rallies went to the Stars, who took a 23-22 lead.

Two kills by Elisa Ahern (So., OPP, Lake Forest Park, WA/Shorecrest HS) put WU in front 24-23. A kill by Claire Dezelski tied the set for Dominican, but Ahern earned another kill for a 25-24 lead. DU tied the score before kills by Hargrave and setter Emily Compton (Jr., S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) gave WU a 27-25 win.

In the decisive fifth set, Dominican held a modest 8-6 advantage after 14 rallies. The Stars registered four of the next five points to claim a 12-7 margin. The teams alternated kills the rest of the way as DU achieved a 15-9 triumph.

Lawrence led the Stars with a match-high 29 kills, while Dezelski tacked on 13 kills. Guerrieri earned 53 assists and Liz Yakey attained 28 digs.

Leenstra topped the WU attack with 24 kills. Reed added 14 and Hargrave had nine. Compton recorded 49 assists, while Kathy Lee Glenn (Sr., LIB/DS, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) supplied 17 digs. Hargrave and Kirsten Brehmer (Jr., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) each earned seven blocks.

WU hit .215 as a team and Dominican hit .196. The Stars achieved eight serving aces and just one serving error, while Willamette had no aces and committed eight serving errors.

Willamette vs. Greenville

In Willamette's 3-0 sweep of Greenville, the Bearcats pounded out a .252 hitting percentage and limited the Lady Panthers to a 0.52 percentage. The Bearcats also claimed a 41-25 advantage in kills and a 58-37 margin in digs.

Hargrave and Leenstra led the way against Greenville with 10 kills apiece. Mertens contributed 14 digs and Compton attained 30 assists.

Willamette led the Lady Panthers 15-12 in the first set. Two kills from Leenstra, plus a kill from Hargrave, extended the advantage to 18-12. A few rallies later, WU led 21-15. The Bearcats ended the set with a 4-0 run.

The Bearcats took a 13-12 lead in Set #2 on kill by Mertens, and maintained the lead during the rest of the set. Even so, a 21-15 margin dwindled to 21-19 on four consecutive points from the Lady Panthers. WU responded with a 4-1 run to close out the set.

Willamette was in front throughout the third set, but Greenville managed to cut the lead to a single point at 15-14 and 16-15 before the Bearcats went on to win, 25-20.

Up next for the Bearcats is a match at Western Oregon University on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).


Willamette University 3
Greenville University 0
Willamette won 25-15, 25-20, 25-19

Dominican University 3
Willamette University 2
Dominican won 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-27, 15-9

Madisyn Leenstra earned 24 kills in the championship match of the 2012 Star Classic.

Madisyn Leenstra earned 24 kills in the championship match of the 2012 Star Classic.