By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- On a night when Willamette University honored its senior volleyball players after the match, seniors Dreux Bertolucci (OH, Cottonwood, CA/West Valley HS/Shasta College) and Morgan Webster (S/DS, Milwaukie, OR/Milwaukie HS) got the cheering underway early, as they led the Bearcats to a 3-0 victory over University of Puget Sound on Friday, Nov. 2 at Cone Field House. Bertolucci finished with seven kills and a .227 hitting percentage, while Webster provided 20 assists and one kill from her setter position.
The Bearcats won the match, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22. Willamette improved its record to 10-14 overall, 7-8 in the Northwest Conference. Puget Sound fell to 12-11 on the season, 9-6 in the NWC. The Loggers defeated the Bearcats, 3-1, in Tacoma, Washington, earlier this season.
In the rematch on Friday, Bertolucci and Webster contributed to a solid all-around match for the Bearcats. The attacking was by committee, as Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) topped the offensive chart with nine kills, but was closely followed by Arianna Khan (So., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS) with eight kills, Bertolucci and Jaiden Mason (So., S/OPP, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian School) with seven kills, and Lauren Stiles with six kills. All five of those players earned hitting percentages above .200, led by Lane at .533.
"Tonight was a great team effort, but our seniors really played well," said Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji. "Dreux was awesome and Morgan really hustled all night. Everyone contributed and it was a great Senior Night. It was great to have so many fans at our last home match!"
Webster's kill was recorded one her only attack of the match. Senior Jo Stensaas (Sr., MH/OPP, Weed, CA/Weed HS) registered one kill on three attacks. Stensaas also helped with blocking at the net. Larsen Fellows (Sr./Jr., OH, Homer, AK/Homer HS), who has missed most of the season due to injuries, was the only senior who didn't play. Elena Vasquez (So., LIB/DS, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS) of Willamette amassed 13 digs, while Stiles produced 11 digs.
Alli Reviglio topped the Loggers with 11 kills and hit .296. She also made nine digs. Melanie Siacotos added nine kills, while Aliah Ayau provided 17 assists and 10 digs.
Willamette attacked consistently well throughout the match for a .300 overall hitting percentage. The Bearcats hit .290 in the first set, .282 in the second set and .333 in the third set. Puget Sound finished with a .209 hitting percentage. Both teams registered 39 kills, but WU had just nine attacking errors, while the Loggers had 16 hitting errors. Puget Sound also was hurt by recording only three service aces, while making eight serving errors. The Bearcats claimed a 49-44 advantage in digs.
The first set featured nine ties and three lead changes, but none after Willamette used a 5-0 run to run a 12-10 deficit into a 15-12 lead. A bit later, the Bearcats claimed a 17-13 advantage on a ball-handling error by the Loggers.
After Puget Sound pulled within three points twice, WU answered with a 5-1 run for a 23-16 lead. The run was completed with back-to-back kills by Mason and Lane. Willamette won the set, 25-21. Puget Sound ended the set with no service aces, four serving errors and two ball-handling errors. Lane had four kills during the set, while Bertolucci and Mason each earned three.
The Bearcats scored the first two points of the second set and never trailed. Several rallies later, Willamette won four consecutive points for a 7-2 lead. The surge ended with a kill by Khan, a service ace by Mason and a kill from Stensaas, forcing the Loggers to call a timeout.
Puget Sound took the next three points to get within 7-5, but WU regained its momentum with a 6-0 run -- including five points with Bertolucci serving -- for a 13-5 advantage. The Loggers eventually cut the lead to 21-16 and 23-19. Stiles helped WU win the next two points for a 25-19 victory, as she pounded down a kill and then combined with Lane on a block.
In the third set, Willamette grabbed a 16-8 lead and then held off the Loggers. Puget Sound went on a 6-2 run to reduce the margin to 18-14 on a kill by Reviglio. Just a bit later, the Loggers moved within 19-17 on a kill by Siacotos. Another kill by Siacotos brought Puget Sound a close as 20-18, but the Bearcats added points on the next three rallies with two kills from Khan and one kill by Stiles. Two points for the Loggers, cut WU's edge to 23-21, before Stiles tacked on a kill to reach match point. A successful attack by Sadie Alloway kept the Loggers going, but Stilse ended the set at 25-22 with a kill for the Bearcats.
Willamette will close out the season on Saturday, Nov. 3 at George Fox Universit in Newberg, Oregon. Match time is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Match for Willamette
Senior outside hitter Dreux Bertolucci had an excellent
match. After earning three kills in the first set, she provided
a key stretch for the Bearcats in the second set. Bertolucci
started serving with an 8-5 lead and the Bearcats added
another five points with her serving for a 13-5 margin.
Willamette won the set, 25-19. Bertolucci finished the
match with seven kills and seven digs.