Willamette Releases Volleyball Schedule for 2014

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

SALEM, ORE. -- After winning six of its last seven matches in the Northwest Conference in 2013, the Willamette University volleyball team hopes to bring that success into the 2014 season. The Bearcats have announced their schedule for the fall, which includes two tournaments early in the season, plus 16 games in the challenging NWC.

Willamette will travel to Seguin, Texas, to open the year on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 at the Texas Lutheran Bulldog Classic. The Bearcats will take on Fairleigh Dickinson University (N.J., the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Concordia University (Texas) and Schreiner University (Texas). Like Willamette, all four teams compete in NCAA Division III.

The Bearcats will play four more NCAA Division III opponents at the Posada Royale Invitational hosted by California Lutheran University on Sept. 5-6. WU will battle Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.), Occidental College (Calif.), Augustana College (Illinois) and the University of Redlands (Calif.).

Following the tournament at California Lutheran, the Bearcats will return to Salem, Ore., for their home opener against Western Oregon University on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. Willamette will then have eight days off before hosting archrival Linfield College in the NWC opener for both teams on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

Willamette is set to play five of its first six NWC matches at home. After playing Linfield at Cone Field House, the Bearcats will play at Lewis & Clark College on Sept. 19. The next four matches will be back at Cone Field House against University of Puget Sound (Sept. 26), George Fox University (Sept. 27), Whitworth University (Oct. 3) and Whitman College (Oct. 4).

The Bearcats will end the season with eight of 11 NWC matches on the road, including five of the last six contests. The next to last game of the season, however, will be played at home against Pacific Lutheran University. It will be Senior Night for the Bearcats.

Last season, Willamette's strong finish in conference play allowed the Bearcats to finish fourth in the NWC standings with an 8-8 record. The Bearcats ended the year with a 12-13 overall mark.

On Nov. 8, 2013, Willamette defeated 18th-ranked Puget Sound in straight sets, 25-12, 25-15, 25-20. The Bearcats hit .361 as a team against the Loggers and pounded out 48 kills.

It will be a slightly different group of players for the Bearcats in 2014 following the graduation of five seniors. Even so, two starting players return.

Sarah Fincher (Jr., OH, Reno, NV/Bishop Manogue HS/Southwest Baptist Univ.) led the team with 334 kills last season, including a career-high 25 kills against Pacific University on Oct. 4, 2013. She also earned 228 digs while playing in 97 sets and all 25 matches.

Lindsey Compton (Jr., OH/S, Portola, CA/Portola HS/Univ. of Hartford) registered 164 kills and ranked third on the team with 17 service aces. She played in 24 matches for the Bearcats.

SCHEDULE

Willamette Volleyball
2014 Season

Sarah Fincher led the Bearcats with 334 kills and an average of 3.44 kills per set in 2013.

Sarah Fincher led the Bearcats with 334 kills and an average of 3.44 kills per set in 2013.