Lewis & Clark Downs Bearcats, 3-0, in Northwest Conference Match

Arianna Khan (Fr., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS)
Arianna Khan (Fr., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Kortney Meyer registered 12 kills and Casey Myszkowski earned 11 kills, as Lewis & Clark College defeated Willamette University, 3-0, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Pamplin Sports Center. The Pioneers won, 26-24, 25-21, 25-14, and improved to 2-12 on the season, 1-6 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 5-10 overall, 2-5 in the NWC.

Willamette played without sophomore outside hitter Kendall Fox (Dupont, WA/Steilacoom HS). At the end of last weekend's games, Fox led the Bearcats with 102 kills on the season and 2.17 kills per set.

"We did not respond very well to adversity," Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji said. "No one stepped up for not having Kendall and we played very unemotionally. If you don't have the desire to play, then things will go south pretty quickly. We need to respond better tomorrow night (at George Fox)."

Lewis & Clark won the first set 26-24. The Pioneers held a 24-20 lead, but the Bearcats quickly pulled within 24-22. Willamette won the next point on a long hit out of bounds by Meyer of L&C. Elena Vasquez (Fr., DS/OH, Kingston, WA/North Kitsap HS) tacked on a service ace to tie the score at 24-24. Lewis & Clark used a middle hit for a kill by Meyer to move back in front, and then ended the set with a service ace by Myszkowski.

The Bearcats zoomed out to a 5-2 lead in the second set. L&C rallied to take an 8-6 lead. Willamette tied the game two points later on a block of Myszkowski by Emma Liband (Sr., MH). The teams were tied again at 10-10, but Willamette took a 12-10 lead. The Pioneers scored the next four points to grab a 14-12 advantage.

A bit later, the Pioneers led by just one point at 17-16 following an ace by Vasquez. Lewis & Clark tallied three consecutive points for a 20-17 edge, and the Bearcats were unable to get closer during the rest of the set. As in the first set, the Pioneers owned a 24-20 margin. It looked like WU might rally again after an attacking error by the Pioneers, but the Bearcats followed with a serving error. L&C claimed a 25-21 win for a 2-0 lead.

L&C players Sam Yorke and Bailee Cragun combined to block a Willamette attack early in the third set for a 5-2 advantage. The Bearcats cut the margin to 6-5 on a kill by Larsen Fellows (Jr./So., OH, Homer, AK/Homer HS) before the Pioneers struck for four points in a row to increase Willamette's deficit to 10-5. L&C's lead increased to 11-5 on the next point, which ended with an apparent ankle injury for WU's Jaiden Mason (Fr., S/OPP).

Kunani Tuttle (So., S/OPP) replaced Mason, and provided a quality set for a middle kill by Jo Stensaas (Jr., MH/OPP, Weed, CA/Weed HS) on the subsequent rally to pull the Bearcats within 11-6. The Pioneers responded with a 5-0 run for a 16-6 advantage. Lewis & Clark won the set, 25-14.

The Pioneers hit .221 for the match, including .393 in the third set. Meyer added 11 digs to go with her 12 kills, while Myszkowski provided a .600 hitting percentage on her 11 kills. Makena Ohlmaier finished with nine kills and a .258 hitting percentage. Mikayla Lopez supplied L&C with 37 assists, while Annika San Nicolas topped the Pioneers with 12 digs. 

Arianna Khan (Fr., OPP, Yuba, CA/River Valley HS) pounded out eight kills for WU, while recording a .250 hitting percentage. The Bearcats hit just .128 as a team.

Mason did not return to action following her injury. Even so, she achieved 15 digs, 11 assists and four kills during the match. Tuttle contributed 10 assists. Vasquez finished with nine digs. She has registered at least nine digs in 12 of Willamette's 15 matches.

The Bearcats will play at George Fox University on Saturday, Oct. 7. Match time in Newberg, Oregon, is set for 5 p.m. (PDT).