Bearcats Keep Rolling with 3-0 Win over Boxers

Fincher Blasts 12 Kills, Waltz Hits .500 and Earns 6 Blocks

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Willamette University recorded its fourth victory in five matches on Friday, Nov. 1, as Sarah Fincher (So., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Manogue HS/Southwest Baptist Univ.) contributed 12 kills in a 3-0 win over Pacific University at the Stoller Center. Willamette won 25-23, 25-16, 25-16.

The Bearcats improved their record to 10-13 overall, 6-8 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette has risen from eighth place in the NWC two weeks ago into sixth place, only one-half match out of a tie for fourth with Pacific and George Fox University. Pacific ended the night at 7-13 overall, 6-7 in the NWC.

Willamette hit .242 during the match, while limiting Pacific to a .118 hitting percentage.

Fincher led the way with her 16 kills, while Shannon Waltz (Sr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra School for Girls) recorded a match-high .500 hitting percentage. She achieved eight kills on 16 attacks with no attacking errors. Fincher earned a .243 hitting percentage.

Carly Hargrave (Sr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) added six kills and hit .333 for the Bearcats.

Setter Emily Compton (Sr., S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) produced 32 assists and nine digs, while her sister, outside hitter Lindsey Compton (So., OH/S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Univ. of Hartford) supplied eight kills and 11 digs.

WU's defense amassed 7.0 team total blocks, with six players providing at least one block assist. Waltz led all players with six total blocks on one block solo and five block assists.

Una Areta led Pacific with 13 kills. She also earned 12 digs. Becky Sheller registered a match-high 18 digs for the Boxers. Emily Farnham was credited with 24 assists.

The Boxers managed just one block, which was achieved on a combo effort by Mariah McHolland and Jamie Steach in the first set.

Willamette built an 8-4 lead in the first set and owned a 12-6 margin after 18 rallies. The Boxers won the next three points and eventually reduced Willamette's lead to 15-14 on a service ace by Mariah McHolland.

An attacking error provided the Bearcats with the next point, and Willamette added a kill by Lindsey Compton for a 17-15 edge. After Pacific pulled within 18-17, the Bearcats took advantage of two miscues by the Boxers -- a hitting error and a ball-handling error -- to attain a 20-17 lead.

Pacific got back within a single point two more times before finally tying the Bearcats at 22-22 on a kill by Steach. The Boxers took the lead on a kill from Areta, but Fincher answered with a kill for Willamette to forge a 23-23 tie.

A block of Areta by Waltz and Kirsten Brehmer (Sr., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) provided WU with the next point, and an attacking error by McHolland resulted in a 25-23 win for the Bearcats.

The Boxers opened the second set with a kill by McHolland for a 1-0 lead and the score was tied twice in the early going. Willamette used a 4-0 run, including two service aces by Emily Compton,  to take a 7-3 lead and remained in front for the rest of the set.

WU registered a .424 hitting percentage during the set, as the Bearcats churned out 15 kills with just one attacking error on 33 attacks. Fincher provided five of the kills, while Hargrave and Waltz added three apiece.

In the third set, Willamette tallied the first five points and never trailed. Pacific got as close as three points at 9-6 on a kill by Areta, but the Bearcats countered with a 4-0 run that featured one kill each by Lindsey Compton, Emily Compton, and Fincher. WU cruised out to a 23-10 lead before winning, 25-16.

The Bearcats achieved a 2-0 record during the week, grabbing consecutive 3-0 victories on the road just two days apart. On Wednesday (Oct. 31), the Bearcats won at Lewis & Clark College, 25-21, 25-16, 25-22.
BOX SCORE

Willamette University 3
Pacific University 0
WU won 25-23, 25-16, 25-16

Sarah Fincher pounded 12 kills for the Bearcats in their 3-0 win over Pacific.

Sarah Fincher pounded 12 kills for the Bearcats in their 3-0 win over Pacific.