By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
NEWBERG, Ore. -- A key attacking player for each team had a strong match when Willamette University took on George Fox University in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Wheeler Sports Center. Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) of Willamette pounded out 10 kills and hit .600, but Danyle Dupray of GFU registered 12 kills and a .312 hitting percentage to lead the Bruins to a 3-0 win over the Bearcats. GFU prevailed by scores of 25-21, 25-16 and 25-21.
George Fox advanced its record to 11-13 overall, 5-11 in the NWC (8th place). Willamette ended its season at 10-15 overall, 7-9 in the NWC (5th place).
Lane had just one attacking error on 15 total attacks for the Bearcats. Lauren Stiles (Jr., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School) and Arianna Khan (So., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS) each contributed seven kills. Khan took 23 attacks and committed no errors as she recorded a .304 hitting percentage. Jaiden Mason (So., S/OPP, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian School) earned 18 assists and Morgan Webster (Sr., S/DS, Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS) supplied 16 assists. Four Bearcats each provided more than 10 digs, led by Elena Vasquez (So., LIB/DS, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS) with 15 digs.
In addition to finishing with a match-high 12 kills, Dupray also supplied 11 digs. Sophia Lawrence topped the Bruins with 18 digs. Ashtyn Butler was credited with eight kills and a .700 hitting percentage. Laney Search also achieved eight kills. Madison Ross accumulated 23 assists and four service aces, while Search tacked on 20 assists. GFU hit .297 as a team, while Willamette hit .204.
Willamette held a 9-7 lead in the first set following back-to-back scores on kills by Khan and Stiles. The Bearcats also led 11-9 on a kill from Lane. George Fox tallied the next four points to take a 13-11 lead. The Bruins led the rest of the set, but the Bearcats trailed by a single point five times, including 18-17 after a kill by Lane. Five consecutive points by the Bruins gave GFU a 23-17 lead on its way to a 25-21 win.
The teams were tied at 7-7 once again in the second set before George Fox went on a 5-0 run that ended with a service ace by Madison Ross. WU pulled within 12-10 on a kill by Stiles., but the Bruins answered with three points in a row. GFU eventually earned a 21-13 advantage on its way to taking the set, 25-16.
George Fox led throughout the third set. Even so, the Bearcats were as close as 8-7 following a combo block by Stiles and Lane. GFU built a 17-10 lead, but Willamette scored the next four points. The Bearcats were within three-points before reducing GFU's advantage to 22-20 on a ball-handling error by the Bruins. WU also was within two points at 23-21 on a kill by Dreux Bertolucci (Sr., OH, Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS/Shasta College). Dupray recorded kills during the next two rallies, as the Bruins won the set, 25-21.
Lane concluded the season with a team-leading .263 hitting percentage. During the year, she pounded down 173 kills on 430 total attacks with 60 attacking errors. Mason was the only WU players to compete in all 25 matches and all 91 sets. She led the Bearcats with 656 assists for an average of 7.21 assists per set. Vasquez topped Willamette with 355 digs and 4.18 digs per set. Natalie Klotz (Fr., OH/OPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS) ranked first with 202 kills and 2.49 kills per set, and also led WU with 35 service aces and 0.43 aces per set.
Big Moment of the Match for Willamette
Willamette's Jennifer Lane recorded four of her 10 kills
in the opening set. Her first kill gave WU an 11-9 lead.
Lane's second kill pulled the Bearcats within 18-17. She
added two more kills during the set.