Pacific Lutheran, Ranked #16, Defeats Willamette, 25-17, 26-24, 25-17

Waltz Leads Bearcats with Seven Kills

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

SALEM, ORE, -- Pacific Lutheran University, ranked #16 in NCAA Division III, defeated Willamette University in a Northwest Conference match, 3-0, on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Cone Field House. PLU improved to 8-4 overall, 3-0 in the NWC, while Willamette fell to 5-8 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.

The Lutes received their current ranking from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) earlier this week. PLU added a 3-1 win over #14-ranked University of Puget Sound on Wednesday before taking on the Bearcats.

Shannon Waltz (Sr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra School for Girls) topped Willamette's offensive stats with seven kills, while earning a .286 hitting percentage. Lindsey Compton (So., OH/S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Univ. of Hartford) added six kills and led the Bearcats with 17 digs.

Alexa Dowdell (Fr., MH/OPP, Mililani, HI/Maryknoll HS) also achieved six kills for Willamette. Carly Hargrave (Sr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) chipped in five kills to go along with a .267 hitting percentage. Setter Emily Compton (Sr., Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) supplied 30 assists.

Lucy Capron and Bethany Huston each pounded out nine kills for the Lutes. Haley Urdahl and Amy Wooten each tacked on eight kills. Samantha North finished the match with 34 assists, while Amber Aguiar registered a match-high 19 digs. Urdahl contributed 14 digs.

WU trailed 5-2 in the first set, but tied the score at 6-6 on a kill by Sarah Fincher (So., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Monague/Southwest Baptist Univ.). The Lutes tallied the next three points with kills to begin a 7-1 run, as PLU built a 13-7 lead. Willamette was unable to recover, as the Lutes won the set, 25-17.

The second set was competitive and exciting, and was close most of the way. Willamette led 8-4, but the set went on to feature six ties and three lead changes. The Lutes forced the first tie at 11-11 on a service ace by Urdahl. WU scored five of the next seven points for a 16-13 advantage, before PLU went on an 8-2 run to move in front, 21-18.

Willamette scored three consecutive points to tied the game, 21-21, on a kill by Waltz, a service ace by Riley Fawcett (Fr., OH, Normandy Park, WA/John F. Kennedy HS), and an attacking error by Urdahl. PLU won the next three rallies for a 24-21 advantage.

A serving error returned the ball to WU's side of the net, where the Bearcats earned two points on a kill by Dowdell and a combo block by Dowdell and Hargrave to tie the score once again. The Lutes closed out the set at 26-24 following kills by Huston and Urdahl.

The Lutes took a 5-2 lead in the third set, and also led 11-7 and 15-12 before gradually pulling away. WU trailed 18-14 following a successful attack by Dowdell, but Pacific Lutheran countered with a 4-1 run that extended the margin to seven points. PLU won the set, 25-17.

Pacific Lutheran achieved a .242 hitting percentage while finishing with 42 kills. Willamette earned 33 kills and a .155 hitting percentage. The Lutes achieved a 10-3 edge in service aces and accumulated 62 digs, compared to 60 digs for the Bearcats.

Willamette will play at Cone Field House again on Wed., Oct. 2 in a Northwest Conference match against Lewis & Clark College. The opening serve is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Results

Pacific Lutheran University 3
Willamette University 0
PLU won 25-17, 26-24, 25-17

Post-game Interviews

Shannon Waltz earned a team-high seven kills against the nationally ranked Lutes.

Shannon Waltz earned a team-high seven kills against the nationally ranked Lutes.

Lindsey Compton provided Willamette with six kills and 17 digs.

Lindsey Compton provided Willamette with six kills and 17 digs.