Recap | Box Score
SIMPSON 3, GEORGE FOX 2: Bruins Fall to Red Hawks in Highest-Scoring 5th Set Ever
NEWBERG, Ore. – After battling back from a two-sets-to-none deficit to force a tie, the George Fox University Bruins fell in their 2011 women’s volleyball season opener to the Simpson University Red Hawks 3-2 in the longest fifth set in team rally-scoring history Thursday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
Simpson, an NAIA team from Redding, Calif., that had already played 14 matches coming in, escaped with a 25-21, 25-19, 18-25, 13-25, 21-19 victory. The 40 points in the final set topped the previous highest-scoring fifth game in George Fox history, a 19-17 loss at Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 12, 2002.
In the opening set, the Bruins jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind Betsy Wilhelm’s three kills but could pull no further ahead. The Red Hawks tied the set four times before rallying from two down to win the final six points, benefitting from a kill and two combination blocks by Kirsten Duren, an ace by Jamie Pickett, and two Bruin attack errors.
Simpson never trailed in the second set and forged a 10-point lead at 23-13 before the Bruins rallied. Two Red Hawk attack errors, a block by Kylee Adderson and Amanda White, an Adderson kill, and two Patti Reeves service aces cut the George Fox deficit to 23-19 before two Bruin hitting errors ended the set.
The Bruins took an early 7-2 lead in the third set, led by three winners from Stephanie Kerr, and led by as many as seven points six times, the last on a kill by White for the final score. The home team sizzled in the fourth set, hitting .276 to only .000 for the visitors, and led by as many as 15 points at 23-8 following a kill by Kerr.
The Red Hawks held an early 4-1 lead in the deciding stanza and were up 8-6 when kills by Tiffany Burk and Cassie Irwin evened the score for the Bruins, and neither team led by more than a point thereafter until the final score. George Fox had chances to close it out at 14-13, 16-15, 17-16, and 18-17, while Simpson squandered leads of 15-14 and 19-18 before a Bruin attack error and a winner by Jackie Nixon secured the victory for the Red Hawks.
Kerr led all offensive players with 22 kills for the Bruins while hitting .319, while Irwin added 10 winners. Mackenzie Teigen passed out 28 assists and Chelsea Wilson 26. Reeves, who set a George Fox record with 5.88 digs per game last year, picked up where she left off by making 31 digs, with Wilhelm adding 16 and Teigen and White 15 apiece. Adderson had four block assists.
Duren and Nixon had 11 kills each and Sara Loogman contributed 10 for the Red Hawks. Kelly Tycksen had 21 assists and Duren 17. Jamie Pickett was the digs leader with 21, Nixon had 16, Tycksen and Duren 15 apiece, and Jennifer Hopkins added 10.
NEXT: George Fox (0-1) will play Mayville State University at 12:30 p.m. and Lewis & Clark College at 5:30 p.m. in the Northwest Invitational Tournament at Lewis & Clark in Portland this Saturday ... Simpson (4-11) hosts Arizona Christian College next Thursday at 7:00 p.m.