By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
TACOMA, Wash. -- Jennifer Lane (Sr., MH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) led Willamette University with 14 kills and hit .278, while teammate Shyla Sato (Fy., LIB/DS, Honolulu, HI/MId-Pacific Institute) earned 21 digs, but the University of Puget Sound defeated the Bearcats, 3-1, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Friday, Oct. 25. The Loggers won, 27-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17.
Tallie Davison provided the Loggers with a match-high 22 kills and registered a .455 hitting percentage. Puget Sound upped its record to 12-11 on the season, including 7-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 6-14 overall, 5-6 in the NWC.
Lane was joined in double figures for Willamette by Natalie Klotz (So., OH/OPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS), who contributed 13 kills, 16 digs and three service aces. Emma Porter (Fy., S, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute) supplied 38 assists and 19 digs. Dani Queja (Fy., OH, Ewa Bach, HI/Maryknoll School) finished with nine kills and 14 digs.
Davison was one of two Puget Sound players with double-digit kills. Jordan Holman accumulated 10 kills to go with 14 digs and three service aces. Chloe Akiona-Bannan topped the Loggers with 20 digs, while Kathleen Brown achieved 12 digs. Sarah Blumenfield dished out 33 assists, attained 11 digs and recorded three aces.
"Tonight was a lesson in serving and passing. Puget Sound did those skills better than us tonight, and controlled the entire match. We just didn't do those two skills very well."
— Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji
The Loggers compiled seven service aces and 11 serving errors, while Willamette had five aces and 13 serving errors. Puget Sound earned a .191 team hitting percentage and the Bearcats hit .119 as a team.
Puget Sound scored the first five points of the match, but the rest of the first set was a close battle. The Bearcats used an 8-3 run to tie the score at 8-8 on a kill by Lane, and then moved in front 10-8 with a bad set by the Loggers and a kill from Lauren Stiles (Sr., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School). Later, WU held a 15-12 advantage following a kill by Porter.
After the Loggers tied the set at 15-15, but the Bearcats tallied the next two points for a 17-15 lead. The Loggers surged past Willamette with a 4-0 run that ended with two kills by Davison and a service ace from Katherine Carley. Willamette fought back and eventually took a 23-22 lead on a service ace by Klotz. The teams were tied at 23, 24 and 25, before the Loggers scored the decisive points on a pair of kills produced by Davison for a 27-25 win.
Willamette evened the match with a 25-22 victory in the second set. Along the way, WU and Puget Sound were tied 13 times and there were six lead changes. At one point. the Loggers held a 17-15 edge, but the Bearcats ran off four points for a 19-17 lead. The mini-run included two kills from Klotz and one kill from Stiles. Puget Sound tied the set at 19-19.
Two attacking errors by the Loggers gave Willamette a 21-19 margin. The next point went to Puget Sound, but WU extended the lead to 23-21 when the Loggers committed a serving error and Lane tacked on a kill. Two rallies later, the Bearcats were in front 24-22, and went on to win the set on a kill by Queja.
The Bearcats trailed 12-4 and 20-14 in the third set and were unable to fully recover. Even so, Willamette pulled as close as 21-18 when Klotz earned a service ace. Puget Sound closed the set with a 4-1 run for a 25-19 triumph and a 2-1 lead in the overall match.
In the fourth set, the Loggers zoomed out to an 11-5 margin. A 5-1 run by the Bearcats, featuring two kills by Klotz, cut the deficit to 12-10. The Loggers countered with a 7-3 run for a 19-13 advantage. WU still trailed by six points at 23-17 after each team added four rallies, but a serving error by the Bearcats and a kill by Holman completed the match.
Willamette will play at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, on Saturday, Oct. 26. Match time at the Wheeler Sports Center is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PDT).