Bearcat Volleyball Loses Marathon Match to Lewis & Clark

Freshmen Hargrave and Waltz Excel

By Sara Elcano, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University volleyball team pushed the match to five sets against Lewis & Clark College, but the Pioneers won, 25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 15-25,15-13, at Cone Field House on Wednesday, Sept. 29. Lewis & Clark appeared to have control of the match after winning the opening two sets, before Willamette battled back to tie it at 2-2, forcing the final set.

Lewis & Clark cruised to a 25-18 victory in the first set. The Pioneers were able to string together small runs of two and three points throughout the set to gain control. The Pios hit .132 as a team in the opening set compared to Willamette's -.095.

Unfortunately for Willamette, set two was more of the same. The Bearcats were able to keep the score close as the teams were tied four times and exchanged the lead twice. Jennifer Dowdy provided Lewis & Clark with several late kills to help seal the victory for the Pioneers.

Down 2-0, Willamette came out with a burst of energy to open the third set. Danica Reed (So., OH, Arvada, CO/Ralston Valley HS) served four consecutive points for WU, including a serving ace. The Bearcats used the momentum to carry them to back-to-back victories in the third and fourth sets by 25-21 and 25-15 margins.

The decisive set was a thriller. The score was tied on seven occasions and the lead was exchanged four times. With the score locked at 13-13, Lewis & Clark got a kill from Dowdy. The Pioneers ended the set and the match by winning the final point on a ball handling error by Willamette.

Faithful Willamette fans witnessed an explosive performance by freshmen Carly Hargrave (MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) and Shannon Waltz (MF, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra HS). Hargrave ended the match with 14 kills and hit .414. She added one serving ace, one solo block and six block assists. Waltz was equally impressive, adding 11 kills of her own and four aces. She had one solo block and one block assist.

Senior Molly Blankenship (OH, Spokane, WA/Spokane Falls CC) finished the match with 19 kills, 12 digs and two block assists. Emily Compton (So., S, Portola, CA/Boise State Univ.) had 43 assists, two aces and 19 digs.

Dowdy topped Lewis & Clark with 19 kills. She also earned eight digs. Margaret Dowling provided the Pioneers with 18 kills and 15 digs. Setter Leia Matsunaga contributed 48 assists, seven digs and three kills.

Lewis & Clark climbed to 7-8 overall and to 3-2 in the Northwest Conference with the win. The Bearcats moved to 6-8 overall and 2-3 in the NWC.

Willamette will host another NWC match on Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. (PDT) against the Lutes of Pacific Lutheran University. The Lutes are 10-3 overall and 4-0 in the NWC. They enter the match having won four matches in a row.

Lewis & Clark College 3
Willamette University 2
25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 15-25, 15-13
Freshman middle hitter Carly Hargrave earned 14 kills against Lewis & Clark.

Freshman middle hitter Carly Hargrave earned 14 kills against Lewis & Clark.