PORTLAND, Ore. - In a battle for sole possession of second place in the Northwest Conference women's volleyball race, Lyndsay Hovee had 15 kills and 16 digs to lead the George Fox University Bruins to a 3-1 victory (14-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-23) over the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers Wednesday night here at the Pamplin Sports Center.
It was the ninth consecutive win for the Bruins, their longest streak since winning 20 in a row from Sept. 6-Oct. 24, 1998, and raised their record to 14-3 overall and 7-2 in the conference. The victory also avenged the Bruins' only home-court loss of the season to the Pioneers in their NWC opener on Sept. 16. Lewis & Clark slipped to 10-8 overall and 6-3 in the league.
The Pioneers and Bruins took turns posting their best and worst-hitting performances of the match in the first two sets. Lewis & Clark hit .243 to George Fox's minus-.068 in the first set, while the Bruins hit .345 in the second set to .057 for the Pios.
In the opener, the home team, leading only 11-9, broke the game open with a 14-3 run to seal the win. A block by Sarah Hall and Margaret Dowling and two kills by Jennifer Dowdy put the finishing touches on a convincing Lewis & Clark win.
The Bruins were equally convincing in the second set as they hammered down 14 kills with only five errors in 29 attempts. With a slim 12-9 lead, the Bruins went on a 9-2 run to build a 10-point lead, and closed out the set with consecutive kills by Sarah Crossfield and Hovee.
Leading 7-6 in the third set, the Bruins reeled off eight unanswered points behind the serving of Kaitlyn Maddams to build a 15-6 lead. Maddams had three aces and Jennifer Panico a pair of kills during that run. The Pios battled back with a 13-6 run to close within two at 21-19 on an ace by Jessamy Holland before the Bruins stopped their momentum with consecutive winners by Panico, Stephanie Kerr, and Eliza Pledger.
George Fox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and maintained a slim advantage from then until late in the game, when Lewis & Clark finally tied it 18-18 on an ace by Hall. The teams swapped the next 10 points back and forth, the Bruins taking one-point leads three times and the Pios twice, before the visitors snapped a 23-23 tie and ended the match on a kill by Kerr and an ace by Hovee.
Hovee was the only Bruin with double-figure kills, while Panico with 16 digs and Carley Johnson with 14 helped her out on defense. Ali Toedtemeier had 19 assists and Lani Rasmussen 18. The Bruins had nine blocks in the match, Maddams contributing to five and Panico and Pledger to four each.
Dowling with 15 kills and a .310 hitting percentage and Katherine Fiedler with 13 kills paced the Pios, while Leia Matsunaga handed out 43 assists. Lou Ohki made 14 digs, Hall 13, and Molly Donahue 10. The Pios had eight blocks, with Dowling and Hall in on five apiece.
George Fox hosts 16th-ranked and NWC-leading Pacific Lutheran University, whom they trail by two games in the conference standings, Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Lewis & Clark welcomes the 23rd-ranked University of Puget Sound Friday at 7:00 p.m.