By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Jennifer Lane (Sr., MH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS) of Willamette University has been named First Team All-Northwest Conference and Natalie Klotz (So., OH/OPP, Bonner Springs, KS/Bonner Springs HS) of the Bearcats has been chosen Second Team All-NWC in voting by the NWC head coaches. A total of 20 student-athletes from the nine conference teams were named to the 2019 All-Northwest Conference Volleyball Team.
Willamette ended the season with a 9-16 record, including 8-8 in the NWC. The Bearcats closed out the season with three consecutive NWC wins over Whitman College, Pacific Lutheran University and Pacific University. Willamette earned 1,105 kills plus 1,654 digs, 130 service aces and 140.5 team total blocks in 25 matches (91 sets). WU averaged 12.1 kills and 18.18 digs per set.
First Team All-Northwest Conference
Jennifer Lane (Sr., MH) was selected First Team All-NWC for the first time after receiving Honorable Mention All-NWC recognition in 2018. She led Willamette and ranked third in the NWC with a .278 hitting percentage, while registering 277 kills (3.04 avg.). She produced a team-high 23 service aces (0.25 avg.) and also led the team with 87 total blocks (0.96 avg.). Lane also led the team with 19 solo blocks and 68 block assists.
During the season, Lane pounded 10 or more kills 15 times in 25 matches and had at least nine kills in 19 matches. She earned two or more blocks in 22 matches, including a season-high seven blocks against Pacific on Oct. 12.
Lanes concluded her career with 692 kills, 1,903 total attacks and a .212 hitting percentage. She provided the Bearcats with 226 total blocks, 315 digs and 66 service aces. She played in 96 of 98 matches in her four years at Willamette and saw action in 324 sets. She played in all 50 matches as a junior and a senior.
She set career highs with 21 kills and a .581 hitting percentage at Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 11, 2019. She achieved a career-high 16 digs at Pacific on Sept. 16, 2016. She recorded nine blocks against Pacific in matches on Oct. 26, 2018 and Nov. 9, 2019.
"This honor is well deserved for Jennifer this year. She was our most dominant offensive player this year and one of the best leaders our program has seen. Every team in our conference had to deal with her hitting and blocking, and knew when she was in the front row that she would be hard to stop. It will be very hard to replace her, but she has provided returning players a model of success that they will need to achieve in the future."
— Willamette Head Coach Tom Shoji
Second Team All-Northwest Conference
Natalie Klotz (So., OH/OPP) was named Second Team All-NWC for this first time. She topped Willamette's offensive chart and ranked fourth in the NWC with 294 kills and 3.23 kills per set. She hit .199 for the season and produced double-digit kill totals in 16 matches, including 10 of the last 11 matches on the schedule. She trailed only Lane on WU's serving chart with 22 aces. Klotz also contributed 253 digs (2.78 avg.) and 42 blocks.
In two seasons with the Bearcats, Klotz has accumulated 496 kills (2.88 avg.), 458 digs (2.66 avg.), 57 service aces and 84 blocks. She has played in 49 of 50 matches and has competed in 172 sets.
Klotz smacked a career-high 20 kills against Whitman College on Oct. 5, 2019 and was credited with a career-high 20 digs at Linfield College on Oct. 16, 2019. She established a career high with six service aces against Lewis & Clark College on Sept. 26, 2018. She blocked six attacks against Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) on Aug. 31, 2018 and against Whitman on Oct. 5 this year.