GEORGE FOX 3, PACIFIC 1: Strong Middle Game Leads Bruins to Upset Win over Boxers
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Middle blockers Tiffany Burk and Kylee Adderson combined for 14 kills and a .448 hitting percentage on offense and led a defensive effort that produced 12 blocks as the George Fox University Bruins stunned the Pacific University Boxers 3-1 in Northwest Conference women’s volleyball Wednesday night here at the Stoller Center.
The Bruins snapped a six-game losing streak, their longest in four years, with their 25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-14 win, avenging a 3-1 home loss to the Boxers on Sept. 28. George Fox is now 8-14 overall and 3-10 in the conference, while Pacific fell to 12-10 overall and 6-7 in the league.
The first set was tight with 10 ties, five lead changes, and no lead by either team larger than three points. A hot hand by Kelsy Takashima, who had seven kills in the set, kept the Boxers close, while the Bruins had a balanced attack that saw seven different players collect kills. Takashima had back-to-back winners that enabled Pacific to take a 23-22 lead, but the Bruins scored three straight to capture the set on a Boxer ball-handling error, an ace by Chelsea Wilson, and an attack error by the home team.
The second set was even tighter, with12 ties, eight lead changes, and Pacific holding the largest lead of only four points twice at 15-11 and 16-12. The Bruins scored four straight , including kills by Cassie Irwin and Adderson, to tie it 16-16, and ties followed at every number thereafter until Erin Campbell hit two winners in a row to give George Fox a 24-22 edge. The Boxers staved off elimination with a Bruin service error and a kill by Keahi Braginsky-Ahloo, then won on a combo block by Jowell Guerreiro and Mariah McHolland and a kill by McHolland.
Pacific built a 7-4 lead in the third set following an ace by Takashima, but George Fox responded with a 5-0 run to move ahead 9-7 and never trailed again. Ahead only 13-12, the Bruins reeled off seven unanswered points to take control, starting with two kills by Campbell and ending with winners by Stephanie Kerr and Adderson. Burk ended the set with a spike.
The Bruins left little doubt about the outcome as the fourth set began, racing out to a 5-0 lead on an ace by Mackenzie Teigen, a block by Kerr and Burk, and one kill apiece by Burk and Kerr. After a Takashima kill, the Bruins scored five more in a row, with kills by Betsy Wilhelm, Campbell and Kerr, and a block by Burk in the run. The Boxers got no closer than five points the rest of the way, and the Bruins closed the match impressively with the game’s final four points on a solo block by Campbell, a tandem block by Irwin and Adderson, and kills by Adderson and Campbell.
Outside hitters Campbell with 12 kills and Kerr with nine were the Bruin attack leaders, while Burk and Adderson had seven kills each and hit .438 with no errors and .462 with one error respectively. Teigen passed out 22 assists and Wilson 17. Patti Reeves mad 23 digs, Teigen and Wilson 15 each, Campbell 13, and Wilhelm 12. At the net, Burk recorded two solo blocks and six block assists, Kerr had four block assists, and Adderson had three block assists.
Takashima had a torrid night for the Boxers with a match-high 19 kills while hitting .318, and McHolland added 12 winners. Malea Webb handed out 26 assists and Gabriela Vega 19. Defensively, Jade Thompson had 24 digs, Braginsky-Ahloo 16, and Brittney Johnson 13. Takashima had six bock assists out of the Boxers’ team total of seven.
NEXT: George Fox visits Willamette University in Salem, Ore., Friday for a 7:00 p.m. NWC match ... Pacific plays its final road game of the season Saturday at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., a conference contest at 7:00 p.m.