Bearcats Sweep #18 Loggers on Senior Night, 25-12, 25-15, 25-20

Willamette Hits .361 as a Team; Fincher Earns 17 Kills and Hargrave Adds 12

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

SALEM, ORE. -- It was Senior Night on Friday, Nov. 8 at Cone Field House, as Willamette University took on 18th-ranked University of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference volleyball match. Willamette's seniors all started and played very well in a three-set sweep of the Loggers, 25-12, 25-15, 25-20.

Several underclassmen added to the Bearcats' success, as WU won for the third match in a row -- all in straight sets. It was also Willamette's sixth victory in its last eight matches.

"We couldn't have done it without our five seniors," Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji said. "Their creativity on the court was amazing ... and I would say in the last eight matches, nine matches, we have not had a bad match."

WU advanced its record to 11-13 on the season, 7-8 in the NWC. Puget Sound fell to 17-7 overall, 12-3 in the NWC. Puget Sound is ranked #18 in the NCAA Division III Poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

Willamette hit .361 as a team during the match. The Bearcats pounded out a .438 hitting percentage in the first set, followed by .289 in the second set and .368 in the third set. WU finished with 48 kills and just nine attacking errors.

Meanwhile, Puget Sound hit just .119 for the match. The Loggers earned just 27 kills.

There was one tie during the entire match, as Willamette started strong in each set. WU led 12-1 in the first set and held a 4-0 lead to start the second set. Puget Sound scored the second point of the third set for a 1-1 tie, but the Bearcats responded with a 7-2 run for an 8-3 advantage.

Sarah Fincher (So., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Manogue HS/Southwest Baptist Univ.) topped Willamette's offensive chart with 17 kills and hit .577. Carly Hargrave (Sr., MH, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) earned 12 kills, had no attacking errors and hit .545.

Setter Emily Compton (Sr., Portola, CA/Portola HS/Boise State Univ.) provided 42 assists. Lizzy Baldwin (Sr., LIB/DS, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) registered a match-high 18 digs.

Shannon Waltz (Sr., MH, Honolulu, HI/La Pietra School for Girls) earned five kills with no attacking errors and a .385 hitting percentage. Kirsten Brehmer (Sr., MH/OPP, Evergreen, CO/Evergreen HS) contributed five kills and eight digs.

Lindsey Compton (So., OH/S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Univ. of Hartford) provided WU with eight kills and also supplied 15 digs.

Puget Sound was led by Nicolette Reynaud, who recorded seven kills and a .286 hitting percentage. Marissa Florant attained six kills and committed one attacking error, as she hit .250 for the match.

Jackie Harvey earned 11 digs for the Loggers, while Jenni Brehove was credited with 18 assists.

After taking a 12-1 lead in the first set, including three consecutive service aces by Emily Compton for the 10th, 11th and 12th points, the Bearcats remained solidly in front. WU led 14-4 and later held a 19-7 advantage, before winning the set, 25-12.

In the second frame, WU built a 9-3 lead while achieving six kills on the first 12 rallies. The Bearcats eventually led 15-7 on a service ace by Lindsey Compton, and owned at least a six-point margin all the way until taking a 25-15 win.

Willamette's 8-3 lead early in the third set helped propel the Bearcats to the overall sweep. UPS cut the difference to just two points at 8-6 after the Bearcats committed a serving error and two attacking errors. Kills by Fincher and Hargrave extended the lead to 10-6.

The Bearcats tallied six of the next nine points for a 16-9 advantage, but Puget Sound put together a 5-0 run to get within 16-14. WU grabbed five of the next six points -- on two kills by Waltz, a kill by Brehmer and two successful attacks by Hargrave -- for a 21-15 lead. Willamette won the set, 25-20.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 3
University of Puget Sound 0
WU won 25-12, 25-15, 25-20

Honoring the Seniors

Post-match Interviews

Senior Carly Hargrave pounded out 12 kills with no attacking errors, as she hit .545 during the match.

Senior Carly Hargrave pounded out 12 kills with no attacking errors, as she hit .545 during the match.