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CAL LU FORNIA INVITATIONAL: Bruins End Tourney by Splitting with Athenas, Bulldogs
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – After a tough 3-2 loss to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas, the George Fox University Bruins bounced back with a 3-2 win over the University of Redlands Bulldogs on the final day of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational women’s volleyball tournament here Saturday afternoon, finishing with a 1-3 overall record in the event.
Game 1 – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3, George Fox 2
After spotting the Athenas a 2-0 lead in sets, the Bruins battled back to capture the next two and send the match to a fifth and deciding game in the Gilbert Arena. Unfortunately, a negative -.071 hitting percentage in that final set spelled disaster for the Bruins as they fell 25-16, 28-26, 17-25, 23-25, 15-11.
Claremont cruised to an easy win in the first set as the Bruins were limited to a .020 hitting percentage, with 11 kills but 10 errors on offense. The Bruins posted one of their best showings of the season in the second set as they hit a robust .324, with 16 kills and only four errors, but the California team was just a little bit better and hung on for a narrow two-point win to go up two sets to none.
The Bruins turned up the defensive pressure in the third set and won despite a rather pedestrian .100 hitting average. The offense revived in the fourth set to a solid .272 attack percentage, just enough for the Bruins to hang on after nearly letting a 24-20 lead escape.
The tiebreaker was tight through the first 15 points, with Claremont taking a slight advantage of 8-7 midway through the set. However, the Athenas pulled away then by running off three straight points, and the Bruins could not catch up as they had only two kills but four errors in the last stanza.
Four Bruins collected double figures in kills, led by Tiffany Burk with 14. Cassie Irwin and Erin Campbell added 11 apiece, and Lucy Capron chipped in with 10 as the Bruins hit .149 (57-28-195) for the match. Chelsea Brustad handed out 24 assists and Payton Shrum 23. Capron had six service aces, half the Bruins’ total of 12. Chelsea Wilson snared 36 digs and Capron 25 on defense, while Burk had eight of the Bruins’ 13 total blocks and Irwin was in on five.
George Fox slipped to 1-4 overall while Claremont improved to 6-1 with its sixth victory in a row.
Game 2 - George Fox 3, Redlands 2
In a match played in the auxiliary Soiland Gym, the Bruins bested the Bulldogs by hitting a phenomenal .556 in the final game to take a 19-25, 25-13, 18-25, 25-22, 15-6 win. Redlands held the Bruins to a .025 hitting percentage in the first set and .000 in the third, closing out the third set with a 12-3 run after the Bruins had gone in front 15-13.
George Fox got its offense going in the second and fourth sets to even the match each time Redlands went ahead. The Bruins hit .171 to take an easy second-set win, and .222 to hang onto the fourth. In the deciding set, then Bruins pounded 11 kills with only one error in 18 attempts, with Tiffany Burk hitting winners on four of six attempts and Erin Campbell on three of four.
Campbell led the Bruins with 13 kills, Lucy Capron added 12, and Cassie Irwin had 10. Payton Shrum handed out 30 assists and Chelsea Brustad had 17. Brooke Sturdevant came off the bench to spark the Bruins in the fourth set with three aces in fourn serves in one rotation. Defensively, Chelsea Wilson made 31 digs, Capron 17, and Campbell 11, while Burk and Kylee Adderson contributed to four blocks each out of the Bruins’ total of eight.
George Fox is now 2-4 on the season, while the Bulldogs saw their record evened at 2-2.
Statistics for the two box scores from the Bruins’ opponents were not readily available right after the matches.
NEXT: Northwest Conference play begins for George Fox on Wednesday as the Bruins host the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers at 7:00 p.m. in the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.