Bearcats Fall in Four Sets to Whitworth

Hargrave Earns 13 Kills for Willamette

By John Lind, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SPOKANE, WASH. -- The Willamette University women's volleyball team kept Saturday night's match against Northwest Conference foe Whitworth University close throughout, but the Bearcats were unable to prevail, as the Pirates won in four sets, 25-19, 25-21, 9-25, 25-23.

The Bearcats were led by Carly Hargrave (Jr., Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS), who recorded a .385 hitting percentage to go along with a team-high 13 kills. Shannon Waltz (Honolulu, Hawaii/ La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls) contributed 10 kills and a team-high .400 hitting percentage.

Nicole Leonard topped the Whitworth stats with 14 kills. She also registered 14 digs. Jalana White provided seven kills for the Pirates, while Whitney Santos achieved 19 digs.

The first set was a heavily contested, back-and-forth bout, with the score difference never reaching more than two points all the way up to an 18-18 deadlock. From there, the Pirates won seven of the next eight points to close the set out on a Nicole Leonard kill. 

The second set was also very close up to a 10-10 tie, when Whitworth went on a 10-3 run to take a commanding 20-13 lead. However, Willamette showed resiliency, battling all the way back to just a two-point deficit, 20-18, behind a kill from Taylor Gee (So., San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) and four consecutive errors by the Pirates. The momentum wasn't enough, as Whitworth won the set, 25-21.

Determined to avoid the sweep, the Bearcats caught fire in the third set. Willamette jumped ahead early and never looked back, riding a combined eight kills between Hargrave and Waltz all the way to a 25-9 drubbing. Errors abounded for Whitworth in the set, as they were unable to keep pace with the Bearcats' tenacity. Willamette hit .393 in the set, recording 13 kills as a team and committing only two errors. 

Willamette came out in the fourth set looking to continue riding their momentum. They led through much of the set, although Whitworth stayed close on their heels. The teams were eventually knotted at 20-20, but two straight attacking errors by the Bearcats created a margin for Whitworth, as the Pirates went on to win the set, 25-23, for the overall victory.

Emily Compton (Jr., Portola, Calif./Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) led Willamette with 41 assists.Shawna Korshavn supplied Whitworth with 34 assists.

The Bearcats received a committee effort on defense, with three players recording double digit digs. Lizzy Balding (So., Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) led the way with 27 digs, while Mandara Hogarth (Fr., OH, West Covina, CA/St. Lucy's Priory HS) earned 13 and Nicole Mertens (Sr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) added 10.

Willamette finished with an impressive 14.0 team total blocks. Waltz topped the chart with nine blocks, including three block solos. Hargrave added one block solo and five block assists. Mertens also contributed five block assists. Whitworth was credited with 9.0 team total blocks, led by five block assists from Briauna Stadeli.

With the loss, the Bearcats drop to 2-9 (0-4 NWC). Willamette resumes action next Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29 for weekend matches against the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University. Each match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (PDT) at Cone Field House in Salem, Ore.

BOX SCORE
Whitworth University 3
Willamette University 1
Whitworth won 25-19, 25-21, 9-25, 25-23
Carly Hargrave registers a block against Whitworth last season. In this weekend's matchup with the Pirates, she earned six total blocks.

Carly Hargrave registers a block against Whitworth last season. In this weekend's matchup with the Pirates, she earned six total blocks.