Bearcats Fall to Santa Cruz, Rally Past La Verne, at Pacific Coast Classic

Willamette Plays at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday

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

LA VERNE, CALIF. -- Willamette University rallied from two sets down to defeat the University of La Verne, 3-2, and earn a split of two matches played by the Bearcats on Friday, Aug. 30 at the Pacific Coast Classic. WU won the match with La Verne, 22-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-12.

In the first match, the University of California-Santa Cruz downed the Bearcats, 3-1, despite losing the first set by a sizable margin. UCSC prevailed, 14-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19.

Willamette is 1-1 in the tournament and 1-1 on the season.

Sisters Emily Compton (Sr., S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) and Lindsey Compton (So., OH/S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Univ. of Hartford) started both matches for the Bearcats.

Also starting against UCSC and La Verne were Sarah Fincher (So., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Monague/Southwest Baptist Univ.), Kirsten Brehmer (Sr., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS), Shannon Waltz (Sr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra School for Girls) and Carly Hargrave (Sr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS). Lizzy Balding (Sr., LIB/DS, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) was the starting libero in both matches.

Against UC-Santa Cruz, Willamette surged out to a 25-14 win in the first set, but couldn't sustain the momentum. The Banana Slugs defeated WU in the second set, 25-16, before edging the Bearcats in the third set 26-24. UCSC clinched the victory with a 25-19 advantage in the fourth set.

La Verne earns a pair of close triumphs over Willamette at 25-22 and 25-23 in the first two sets, but the Bearcats battled back to win the match. After taking the third set, 25-17, Willamette outscored the Leopards 25-19 in the fourth set. WU prevailed in the final set, 15-12.

"We played better as the match went longer and never lost confidence, even after losing the first two sets," said Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji about the match against La Verne. "I really liked our intensity throughout the match."

The Bearcats will conclude the Pacific Coast Classic with matches at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and at Pomona-Pitzer, both on Saturday, August 31 in Claremont, Calif. (CMS and Pomona-Pitzer are located in Claremont). The match with CMS will start at 12:15 p.m. (PDT) and the match against Pomona-Pitzer will begin at 4:30 p.m. (PDT).


UC-Santa Cruz 3
Willamette University 1
UCSC won 14-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19

Willamette University 3
University of La Verne 2
WU won 22-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-12

Carly Hargrave was one of five seniors who started on the court or at libero in both matches for Willamette.

Carly Hargrave was one of five seniors who started on the court or at libero in both matches for Willamette.