Western Oregon Defeats Bearcats in Four Sets

Fincher Earns 17 Kills, Brehmer Provides 14 Kills

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

MONMOUTH, ORE. -- Western Oregon University broke a 1-1 tie by winning the third and fourth sets, as the Wolves defeated Willamette University, 3-1, in a non-conference volleyball match on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Western Oregon, which competes in NCAA Division II, improved to 3-2. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III, fell to 4-5.

The Wolves prevailed against the Bearcats, 25-18, 25-27, 25-20, 25-20.

Hannah Deede led the Wolves with 12 kills and no attacking errors on 29 total attacks. She achieved a .414 hitting percentage. Christie Colasurdo provided WOU with 10 kills and 14 digs, while the Wolves' libero, Megan Triggs, recorded 25 digs.

Sarah Fincher (So., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Manogue/Southwest Baptist Univ.) of Willamette led all players with 17 kills. She also earned 14 digs. 

Kirsten Brehmer (Sr., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) supplied the Bearcats with 14 kills and 11 digs, while hitting .225. Shannon Waltz (Sr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra School for Girls) attained nine kills and a .238 hitting percentage. Lizzy Balding (Sr., LIB, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) registered a match-high 29 digs.

Led by four kills from Colasurdo in the first 13 rallies, WOU surged out to an 11-2 lead in the opening set. Willamette battled back to within 13-11 after Waltz and Emily Compton (Sr., S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) combined to block an attack by Samantha Moore of WOU.

Two kills by Moore increased the Wolves' advantage to 15-11 and the Bearcats were unable to get closer than three points during the rest of the set. Western Oregon won the set, 25-18.

Willamette held a 6-2 margin in the second set. The Wolves cut the lead to 7-6 on a kill by Kelsie Christensen, before the Bearcats went on a 5-3 run for a 12-9 edge.

Western Oregon countered with a 5-1 run to claim a 14-13 lead. Neither team was in front by more than two points during the final 25 points of the set. WU led 24-22 following a kill by Fincher, but WOU erased two set points and eventually moved in front 25-24.

A kill from Carly Hargrave (Sr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) tied the score, before Compton moved the Bearcats ahead 26-25 with a service ace. Fincher contributed the winning point with her fifth kill of the set.

After playing through 10 ties and six lead changes in the second set, Western Oregon led from the first rally in the third set for a 25-20 win.

Even so, the Bearcats trailed by just three points at 22-19 following an attacking error by the Wolves. Deede earned a kill and then registered a service ace to move WOU to set point. After Brehmer added a kill for WU, Cherene O'Hara responded with a kill for Western Oregon to end the set.

The fourth set featured seven ties and four lead changes. WOU led 5-2, but Willamette tied the set at 6-6 and eventually claimed a two-point lead at 13-11. Later, the Wolves led 17-14, before a 3-1 run by the Bearcats -- including two kills by Brehmer -- reduced the margin to 18-17.

WU also trailed by a single point at 19-18 following a serving error by the Wolves. Western Oregon tallied the next point on a kill by O'Hara to start a 6-2 run to close out the match with a 25-20 win.

The Bearcats will not play again for more than a week, as they prepare for the start of Northwest Conference action. Willamette will play its first NWC match of the season at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., on Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will take on Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.

BOX SCORE

Western Oregon University 3
Willamette University 1
WOU won 25-18, 25-27, 25-20, 25-20

Kirsten Brehmer achieved 14 kills and recorded 11 digs for Willamette.

Kirsten Brehmer achieved 14 kills and recorded 11 digs for Willamette.