By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Augsburg University (Minn.) earned 49 kills and hit .272, as the Auggies defeated Willamette University, 3-0, in the season opener for both teams at the Oregon Trail Classic on Friday, Sept. 1. The Auggies, who went 11-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) last year, won 25-19, 25-12, 25-18 over the Bearcats at the Pamplin Sports Center on the Lewis & Clark College campus.
The Bearcats, who compete in the Northwest Conference, were scheduled to play their second match of the tournament on Friday at L&C against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.). Willamette will complete the Oregon Trail Classic on Saturday, Sept. 2 against Olivet College (Mich.) at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Taylor Linn led Augsburg with 12 kills and earned a .500 hitting percentage, while Corrina Evans added 11 kills. Macey Terhell provided the Auggies with a match-high 22 digs. Morgan Malley achieved 45 assists.
Kendall Fox (So., OH, Dupont, WA/Steilacoom HS) topped the Bearcats with seven kills, while hitting .294. She also recorded 10 digs. Jaiden Mason (Fr., S/OPP, Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian School) provided a team-high 12 digs. Lauren Stiles (So., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School) contributed four kills, while Jennifer Lane (So., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) and Emma Liband (Sr., MH, Sandpoint, ID/Sandpoint HS) each finished with three kills.
The first set was very competitive with 10 ties and three lead changes. Willamette held leads of 5-3 on a kill by Mason and 13-12 following a kill by Stiles. After Stiles put WU in front, the Auggies went on a 3-0 run, including two kills by Sydnie Zachary, for a 15-13 advantage. The Bearcats fought back to tie score at 17-17 after Augsburg committed back-to-back attacking errors.
Two rallies later WU tied the game at 18-18 on a kill by Fox, but the Auggies countered with a 6-0 run to reach set point. Jordan Weeding registered two kills during the run. Liband pounded down a kill for the Bearcats to pull WU within 24-19, but Evans followed with a kill for Augsburg.
In the second set, the teams were tied four times on their way to a 7-7 deadlock after 14 rallies. The Auggies then took control with a 9-0 that started with a kill from Zachary and also benefited from two service aces by Zachary and two kills by Linn. After the run, Willamette trailed 16-7 and the Bearcats were never able to get back in the set, as AU took a 25-12 win.
Willamette led 5-1 in the third set behind a kill by Fox and four consecutive attacking errors by the Auggies. One of the errors was created by a solo block from Liband. Augsburg recorded the next nine points to surge out to a 10-5 advantage. WU cut the margin to three points three times, including 18-15 on a kill by Stiles, but the Auggies stayed in front.