By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Karlie Duncan and Milana Ivkovic each earned 12 kills for Pacific University to offset five Willamette University players with five or more kills, as the Boxers downed the Bearcats, 3-0, at the Stoller Center on Friday, Oct. 26. The Boxers won the first set, 25-20, then took the second set, 25-17, before edging out the Bearcats in the third set, 26-24.
Pacific advanced to 16-7 on the season, 9-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette slipped to 9-14 overall, 6-8 in the NWC.
Ivkovic hit .345 and Duncan hit .219 to help the Boxers achieve a .187 team hitting percentage. Ellie Parker registered 43 assists for Pacific, while Haley Walz was credited with 16 digs. Nanea Lum tacked on 13 digs.
Natalie Klotz (Fr., OH/OPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS), Jaiden Mason (So., S/OPP, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian School) and Arianna Khan (So., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS) pounded out six kills apiece for Willamette. Jo Stensaas (Sr., MH/OPP, Weed, CA/Weed HS) added five kills and no attacking errors for a .625 hitting percentage. Lauren Stiles (Jr., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School) also finished with five kills.
Kahn hit an impressive .429 for the match, while Klotz attained a .250 hitting percentage. Morgan Webster (Sr., S/DS, Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS) dished out 12 assists and Mason supplied 11.
Elena Vasquez (So., LIB/DS, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS) provided WU with 15 digs, while Stiles added 13 and Dreux Bertolucci (Sr., OH, Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS/Shasta College) recorded 11. Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) contributed a match-high nine block assists, leading the Bearcats on their way to 26 block assists and 13.0 team total blocks. Pacific had just 2.0 team total blocks on four block assists.
"Again we played well in spots, but couldn't get over the top," Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji said. "We had some good play from Dreux Bertolucci off the bench, and Jennifer Lane was pretty tough. We tried a new lineup with Morgan Webster doing some setting, and that allowed Jaiden Mason to hit when she was on the front row."
Most of the first set was a close battle. The Bearcats owned a 10-6 advantage following a kill by Stiles. Pacific scored the next two points, but Willamette remained in front. Later, WU held leads of 17-14 on a Pacific attacking error and 19-16 on another kill from Stiles.
The Boxers ran off the next seven points, including two kills by Jordan Zweifel and two service aces by Morgan Mendicino, for a 24-19 lead. Stiles produced another kill for the Bearcats, but Parker ended the set at 25-20 with a kill for Pacific.
In the second set, Pacific zoomed out to an 8-3 lead. After Willamette cut the deficit to 9-5, the Boxers went on a 5-0 run for a 14-5 margin. The run included two kills by Duncan. Willamette battled uphill the rest of the set, as Pacific maintained control for a 25-17 win.
The third set included 12 ties and six leads changes. The Boxers trailed 4-3, but scored on five consecutive rallies for an 8-4 lead. Willamette rebounded with a 10-2 surge for a 14-10 advantage. The final two points of the run were scored on a service ace by Bertolucci and a kill from Khan.
WU also led 17-13 and 19-15, before the Boxers rallied to tie the score at 19-19. Neither team led by more than one point the rest of the set. Willamette was in front 22-21, but Pacific added two points on kills by Duncan to take a 23-22 lead. The next two points went to the Bearcats on a kill by Mason and an attacking error by the Boxers, as Willamette claimed the first set-point at 24-23. A service error by WU allowed Pacific to tie the score, and then the Boxers added a kill by Duncan and a kill by Mendicino for a 26-24 triumph.
The Bearcats will play University of Puget Sound at Cone Field House on Friday, Nov. 2. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).