By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Senior middle hitter Jennifer Lane (Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) recorded double-digit kills in two matches for Willamette University on Friday, Aug. 30, as the Bearcats opened the Oregon Trail Classic by posting a 1-1 record at the Stoller Center on the Pacific University campus. The Bearcats defeated Central College (Iowa), 3-0, before falling to Hamline University (Minn.), 3-2, in a battle later in the day.
Lane registered 10 kills in WU's win over Central. She pounded down 13 kills against Hamline, giving her 23 kills on the day for 2.9 kills per set. Willamette outscored Central, 25-19, 25-23, 25-21. Hamline edged the Bearcats, 23-25, 25-20, 15-25, 25-20, 15-8.
Hamline matched Willamette with a 1-1 record at the end of the day. Pacific also went 1-1, while Central was 0-2. Pacific is one of three sites for the tournament. Matches are also being held at the Wheeler Sports Center on the George Fox University campus in Newberg, Oregon, and at the Pamplin Sports Center on the Lewis & Clark College campus in Portland, Oregon.
Lane and Klotz Lead Bearcats to Sweep of Central
With Lane producing 10 kills and Natalie Klotz (So., OH/OPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS) adding nine kills, the Bearcats began the day with a 3-0 victory over Central. Dani Queja (Fy., OH, Ewa Bach, HI/Maryknoll School) contributed seven kills, while Emma Porter (Fy., S, Honolulu, HI/Mid-Pacific Institute) earned 26 assists. WU gained a 33-28 advantage in kills.
The Bearcats also held a 62-55 margin in digs. Klotz led the way with 16 digs, Shyla Sato (Fy., LIB/DS, Honolulu, HI/MId-Pacific Institute) tacked on 15 digs, and Porter finished the match with 13 digs. WU limited Cetnral to a .079 hitting percentage.
Willamette claimed an advantage while serving, as the Bearcats recorded 11 service aces and the Dutch had just four service aces.
In the first set, WU surged out to a 6-0 lead with Klotz serving. A kill by Lexi Martin (Fy., MH, Bellevue, WA/Interlake HS) and an attacking error by the Dutch were followed by two service aces in a row. A kill from Queja and another attacking error by Central completed the early run. The Dutch scored the next three points to cut the deficit to 6-3, but never got closer during the set.
Willamette owned a 13-6 lead following a kill by Lane. The Dutch moved within 18-15 a bit later, but a 3-0 run expanded the distance to 21-15 and the Bearcats went on to win the set, 25-19.
The first four points in the second set went to the Bearcats, including one kill each from Lane and Queja. Central rallied for leads of 9-6 and 11-10. Two points later, WU was in front 12-11 after a combo block by Lane and Martin. Three more points gave WU a 15-11 lead. The Dutch made things tough late in the set by erasing a 21-15 lead with with a 6-0 run. WU grabbed the next two points for a 23-21 edge and won the set, 25-23.
In the third set, Willamette was in front by a single points, 11-10, after 21 rallies. Three attacking errors in a row by Central, plus a kill by Klotz, gave the Bearcats a 15-10 advantage. The Dutch got as close as 20-18, but the Bearcats tallied four of the next six points for a 24-20 lead on their way to a 25-21 win.
Hamline Wins in Five Sets, Despite Lane's 13 Kills
During Willamette's second match of the day, Hamline rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 in five sets. Lane registered another solid performance, as she led WU with 13 kills, recorded a .273 hitting percentage, and produced four total blocks. Klotz supplied the Bearcats with 11 kills and nine digs. Porter amassed 39 assists and 14 digs. Sato led all players on both teams with 29 digs.
Madison Hurrle topped the Pipers with 16 kills and five blocks. Gabby Robinson added 10 kills, while Megan Rubbelke provided 43 assists and 16 digs. Maggie Gavic achieved 26 digs.
Willamette surged out to a 7-1 advantage in the first set, including six points with Jessica Nash (Fy., S, Santa Clarita, CA/Saugus HS) serving. Hamline recovered on its way to a 14-12 lead. Neither team led by more than two points during the rest of the set.
The Pipers held a 20-18 margin, before the Bearcats went on a 4-1 run to grab a 23-21 lead. Two rallies later, WU's margin was 24-22. Sydney Larson scored next for Hamline with a kill, before the Bearcats prevailed 25-23 when the next rally ended with an attacking error by Hamline's Morgan Coleman.
In the second set, the teams were tied at 10-10. Later, Hamline broke a 16-16 tie with a combination block by Coleman and Erin Leverington to start a 9-4 run that gave the Pipers a 25-20 win. Willamette pulled away in the third set. The Bearcats were up 12-8 after 20 rallies and then went on an 8-2 surge for a 20-10 lead. Willamette won the set, 25-15.
The Pipers forced a fifth set by winning the fourth set, 25-20. Willamette led 13-8 following a kill by Martin, but the Pipers followed with a 7-1 run to move in front, 15-14. WU took a 17-15 lead on a kill by Lane and gained an 18-16 advantage on a kill by Queja. Hamline scored the next two points to open an 8-1 spurt for a 24-19 lead.
Hamline moved out to a 4-1 margin in the fifth set. The Bearcats tied the score at 4-4, but the Pipers rebounded to grab a 10-5 lead. Hurrle earned four kills during the 6-1 run. Willamette cut the lead to four points three times before the Pipers won, 15-8.