Caiden Registers 20 Kills, Queja Adds 17, before Lutes Win 3-2 in NWC Match

Olivia Cadien hits the ball through a block attempted by three opponents.
Olivia Cadien (So., OH, Mesa, AZ/Chandler Preparatory Academy)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Olivia Cadien (So., OH, Mesa, AZ/Chandler Preparatory Academy) pounded 20 kills and Dani Queja (Sr., OH, Ewa Beach, HI/Maryknoll School) tacked on 17 more for Willamette University against Pacific Lutheran University in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Cone Field House, but the Lutes rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win, 3-2. PLU received a boost when Kailee Efros-Bohn entered the match off the bench in the final three sets to earn 12 kills and no attacking errors on 25 attacks for a .480 hitting percentage that led the comeback. Pacific Lutheran prevailed 25-23, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 16-14.

Even with the exceptional play of Efros-Bohn, the Bearcats held a lead of 21-19 in the fourth set before the Lutes ended the set with a 6-0 surge. In the fifth set, Willamette led 10-6, but the Lutes tied the score at 13-13 and went on to claim a 16-14 win. During the match, there were 20 ties and 11 lead changes.

The Bearcats fell to 5-7 overall, 4-2 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran upped its record to 8-6 on the season, 3-3 in the NWC.

Cadien, in addition to providing 20 kills, also supplied 19 digs. The Bearcats finished with 105 digs overall, including a match-high 33 digs by Shyla Sato (Sr., LIB, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute), plus 28 digs by Emma Porter (Sr., S, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute), and 11 digs from Queja. Porter was credited with 50 assists on offense and also produced four block assists on defense. Sydney Locke (Fy, MB, Federal Way, WA/Decatur HS) amassed seven block assists.

Efros-Bohn and Elle Thomas each led the Lutes with 12 kills. Liv Evaro supplied 34 assists and 17 digs, while Halle Hetzler topped the PLU with 37 digs.

Willamette held a 67-52 edge in kills, achieved a .150 team hitting percentage, and limited PLU to a .137 hitting percentage. The Lutes gained a 10-7 margin in service aces and held a slim 11-10 lead in team total blocks. Pacific Lutheran had 96 digs, nine fewer than the Bearcats.

The opening set included seven ties and four lead changes. Willamette was in front 12-8 on a combo block by Locke and Queja, and the Bearcats owned a 17-12 lead following an attacking error by PLU. The Lutes went on a 7-2 run to tie the score at 19-19. There were four more ties up to 23-23 before the Lutes scored the final two points of the set on a service ace by Breeze Bartle and an attacking miscue by Willamette.

In the second set, Willamette pulled away from a slim 12-10 lead into a 19-12 advantage by creating a 7-2 surge. The run featured one kill each from Locke, Cadien, and Lexi Martin (Sr., MH, Bellevue, WA/Interlake HS). Pacific Lutheran pulled as close as 19-17 on a kill by Hailey Iha. WU scored the next three points, ending with a kill by Queja, for a five-point margin. The Bearcats also led 24-21 on a kill from Martin. PLU cut the margin to 24-23 before Locke registered a kill to even up the match score with a 25-23 win for the Bearcats.

PLU held leads at 4-1 and 12-9 in the third set, but Willamette responded with a 6-0 run that gave the Bearcats a 15-12 edge. A bit later, WU grabbed a 22-16 lead on an attacking error by the Lutes. The Bearcats took the set 25-20.

Willamette attained its 21-19 lead during the fourth set at the end of a 5-1 run that concluded with a kill by Locke. Pacific Lutheran's 6-0 run to win the set ended with a service ace by Thomas and a kill from Efros-Bohn.

The Bearcats jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth set and led 6-2 following a kill by Kaitlyn Westby (So., MH, Redmond, WA/Eastside Catholic HS). After WU took a 10-6 edge, PLU earned four points in a row to tie the score. The Bearcats held a 12-10 lead after a kill from Porter and a service ace by Queja. The Lutes tallied four of the next five points for a 14-13 lead. A serving error allowed Willamette to tie the score, and then two kills by Efros-Bohn provided PLU with a 16-14 win.

Up next for Willamette is a match at Lewis & Clark College on Friday, Oct. 7 in Portland, Oregon. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).