With Momentum on Their Side, Bearcats Look to Finish Season Strong

Team has Won Five of its past Seven matches heading into Final Weekend

By Brandon Chinn, Student Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- After closing the 2012 season by winning seven of 12 matches, the Bearcat volleyball team is at it again in 2013.

Consecutive 3-0 shutout wins over Lewis & Clark College and Pacific University have propelled Willamette to fifth place in the Northwest Conference standings. With a 7-9 conference record, the team is just a single match out of third place.

After dropping four consecutive matches from Sept. 28 through Oct. 11, the Bearcats have stormed back with five wins in their past seven attempts. The team's efficiency has also increased, as Willamette has jumped out to a two-set to nothing lead in its past four matches.

During last week's sweep, the Bearcats received vital contributions from all over the court. Shannon Waltz (Sr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra School) registered 19 kills without making an error for a .528 hitting percentage, while Sarah Fincher (So., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Monague/Southwest Baptist Univ.) ended the week with 28 kills.

Senior setter Emily Compton (Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) tallied 71 assists, including an average of 13 assists per set last Wednesday against L&C. 

Willamette aims to keep its momentum rolling heading into the final weekend of action.

The Bearcats kickoff the weekend at home on Friday night, Nov. 8 against the University of Puget Sound. With Friday serving as the Bearcats final home match of the season, the team's five seniors will be honored for their contributions to the program at the conclusion of the match.

The 'Cats will then hit the road on Saturday, Nov. 9 as they oppose George Fox University in Newberg, Ore. Willamette defeated the Bruins 3-1 at Cone Field House on Oct. 12. Both matches this weekend are slated to begin at 7 p.m. (PST).

UPCOMING MATCHES

Willamette vs. Puget Sound
Cone Field House
Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.

Willamette at George Fox
Newberg, Ore.
Saturday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m.

Volleyball Interviews
Senior middle hitter Shannon Waltz earned 19 kills without committing an error last week against Lewis & Clark and Pacific.

Senior middle hitter Shannon Waltz earned 19 kills without committing an error last week against Lewis & Clark and Pacific.