Puget Sound Rallies Past Willamette 3-1 after Dropping First Set to Bearcats

Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS)
Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

TACOMA, Wash. -- Alli Reviglio earned 13 kills and teammate Melanie Siacotos tacked on 12 killls, as University of Puget Sound rallied after losing the first set to grab a 3-1 victory over Willamette University in a Northwest Conference volleyball match at Memorial Fieldhouse on Friday, Oct. 5. Puget Sound won 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20.

The Loggers improved to 9-6 on the season, 6-1 in the NWC. Puget Sound is tied with Pacific Lutheran University for second place in the NWC standings, one-half game behind Whitworth University (7-1). Willamette fell to 6-10 overall, 3-4 in the NWC.

Siacotos hit .375 and Reviglio hit .290 for Puget Sound, as they offset .105 hitting by the rest of the Loggers. Puget Sound achieved a .182 team hitting percentage and held Willamette to a .116 attacking percentage.

Aliah Ayau led Puget Sound with 23 assists, while Sarah Blumentfield dished out 22 assists. Sydney Voss topped all players with 27 digs, while Jordan Holman had 16 digs.

Natalie Klotz (Fr., OH/OPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS) registered 10 kills for Willamette. Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) produced nine kills and a .467 hitting percentage. Klotz and Lane each supplied WU with four block assists. Kendall Fox (Jr., OH, Dupont, WA/Steilacoom HS) contributed nine kills.

Also for Willamette, libero Elena Vasquez (So., LIB/DS, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS) continued her solid play with 24 digs, an average of 6.0 digs per set. Nina Hernandez (So., LIBDS, Valencia, CAWilliam S. Hart HS) was credited with 17 digs. Jaiden Mason (So., S/OPP, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian School) finished with 11 digs.

The Bearcats earned five service aces, but committed 11 serving errors. Puget Sound amassed nine aces and had seven errors. The Loggers gained an eight-point edge on serves.

"When you miss 11 serves it's hard to win a match. We missed four in one set," Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji said. That's a tough thing to overcome. We can battle when we are focused ... our goal is to do that throughout each match against good teams."

There were eight ties and three lead changes in the first set. Puget Sound took a 10-6 lead, but Willamette countered with a 7-1 run. After pulling within 11-9 on a serving error by the Loggers, Willamette completed its run by scoring four consecutive points with Morgan Webster (Sr., S/DS, Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS) serving. The points were scored on consecutive kills by Mason, Lane and Klotz followed by a service ace by Morgan to give WU a 13-11 edge.

Later, Puget Sound owned an 20-16 lead on a combo block by Reviglio and Siacotos. The Loggers also held a 23-19 advantage after a kill by Sadie Alloway. Willamette responded by scoring six consecutive points. A combo block from Lane and klotz tied the score at 23-23, before an attacking error by the Loggers and a kill by Klotz gave the Bearcats a 25-19 win.

The Loggers opened the second set with a 12-3 run on their way to a 25-13 win. Siacatos recorded six kills during the set.

Willamette and Puget Sound combined for nine ties and five lead changes in the critical third set. Neither team led by more than two points until WU took a 13-10 margin on a solo block by Lane. A bit later, the Bearcats led 18-15, but the Loggers scored on three straight rallies. Willamette moved in front 19-18 on a kill by Arianna Khan (So., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS). Puget Sound earned the next seven points, four on blocks by the Loggers, to take the set 25-19.

Back-to-back service aces by Voss completed a strong start for the Loggers in the fourth set, as Puget Sound surged out to a 12-6 advantage. Willamette battled back within three points at 13-10, 18-15 and 21-18, but couldn't get closer. Puget Sound ended the match with a 4-2 run.

The Bearcats will return to Salem, Oregon, to take on George Fox University in an NWC match on Saturday, Oct. 6. Match time is set for 7 p.m. (PDT) at Cone Field House.

Elena Vasquez (So., LIB/DS, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS)

Big Moment of the Match for Willamette

At the end of the first set, with Willamette trailing 23-19,
the Bearcats scored six consecutive points, starting with a
kill by Dreux Bertolucci (Sr., OH, Cottonwood, CA/West
Valley HS/Shasta College). Elena Vasquez then served five
points in a row, as the Bearcats rallied to win 25-23.