Whitman Defeats Willamette, 3-0

Leenstra Earns 12 Kills for Bearcats

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

WALLA WALLA, WASH. -- Whitman College edged past Willamette University 27-25 in the first set and the Missionaries went on to defeat the Bearcats in three sets, during a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Friday, Sept. 21. After claiming the first set by the smallest of margins, Whitman won the second set 25-20 and took the third set 25-18.

The Missionaries improved to 4-7 on the season, 2-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 2-8 overall, 0-3 in the NWC.

Jillian Davis led Whitman with 15 kills. She earned a .333 hitting percentage and led all players with 15 digs. Olivia Nielson contributed eight kills and five block assists for the Missionaries. Courtney Brewer achieved seven kills, while Becca Gotz earned 10 digs. Rachel Cline registered 36 assists.

The Missionaries attained 43 kills and a .229 team hitting percentage, while recording six service aces and committing only three serving errors. Whitman finished the night with 9.0 team total blocks as seven players combined for 18 block assists.

Madisyn Leenstra (Sr., MH/OH, Bellingham, WA/Sehome HS) topped Willamette with 12 kills. She hit .242 for the Bearcats. Danica Reed (Sr., OH, Arvada, CO/Ralston Valley HS) produced eight kills, while Nicole Mertens (Sr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) supplied six kills.

Willamette earned 36 kills, but had 21 attacking errors, which limited the Bearcats to a .123 hitting percentage.

Setter Emily Compton (Jr., Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) accumulated 30 assists during the match. Compton and libero Kathy Lee Glenn (Sr., LIB/DS, Murrieta, CA/Vista Murrieta HS) each provided eight digs. Carly Hargrave (Jr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) and Mertens were credited with four block assists apiece.

The Bearcats trailed 11-6 in the first set after Davis recorded her first four kills. Willamette stormed back to tie the score at 13-13. Whitman tallied three of the next four points for a 17-14 advantage.

WU eventually tied the score again at 18-18. After that, neither team led by more than a point over the next 14 rallies. Willamette had the first chance at a set point, as the Bearcats held a 25-24 lead following an attacking error by Davis. Whitman tied the game on the next rally, as Davis earned a kill.

An attacking error by the Bearcats put Whitman within a point of winning the set. Nielson provided the winning point with a kill assisted by Cline.

Davis achieved seven kills in the first set for the Missionaries. Leenstra and Mertens each had five kills for Willamette.

In the second set, Willamette took an 11-8 lead on a kill from Leenstra. Whitman tied the set at 12-12 and retied the score two points later. The Missionaries led 16-13 before Willamette tallied two points in a row to pull within 16-15 on a kill by Reed.

Whitman went on a 6-1 run that extended the lead to 22-16 and gave the home team momentum. Willamette was unable to get closer than four points during the remainder of the set, as Whitman prevailed 25-20.

WU held leads of 7-4 and 10-6 in the third set after kills by Reed and Leenstra, respectively. The Missionaries countered with six consecutive points to take a 12-10 advantage.

The Bearcats used a kill by Leenstra and a successful attack by Kirsten Brehmer (Jr., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) to create a 12-12 tie. The score was tied again at 13-13, before Whitman added two points to take the lead. WU pulled within 15-14 on a kill from Shannon Waltz (Jr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls).

Whitman was credited with the next three points and led the rest of the way. The Missionaries won the set, 25-18, to complete the match.

The weekend road trip for the Bearcats will conclude on Saturday, Sept. 22, when Willamette will play an NWC match at Whitworth University. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Whitman College 3
Willamette University 2
Whitman won 27-25, 25-20, 25-18
Madisyn Leenstra provided the Bearcats with 12 kills against Whitman.

Madisyn Leenstra provided the Bearcats with 12 kills against Whitman.