NEWBERG, Ore. – Led by 16 kills and a .378 hitting percentage by freshman Lucy Capron, the George Fox University Bruins opened Northwest Conference play with a 3-1 win (25-27, 25-10, 26-24, 28-26) over the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers in women’s volleyball action Wednesday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
Other than the second set, the match was closely-contested as the Bruins showed a penchant for building big leads and then staving off several comeback attempts by the Pios. George Fox hit a solid .201 for the evening (51-20-154) to only .099 for Lewis & Clark (44-29-151), but never could put the visitors away.
In the opening stanza, the Bruins got five kills from Capron in an 18-6 run that rallied the home team from a 4-1 deficit to a seemingly-comfortable 19-10 lead. The Pios then went on a 6-0 run to get back in the game, thanks largely to three attack errors and a ball-handling error by the home team. The Bruins appeared to have momentum back after a 4-1 outburst gave them a 23-17 lead, but the Pios scored five in a row to pull within one. A kill by Betsy Wilhelm put the Bruins on the verge of winning, but a service error, an ace by Daniela de Kervor, and a bad set gave L&C a 25-24 lead. A Capron kill kept the Bruins alive, but the Pios closed out the stunning comeback with kills by Jennifer Dowdy and Kayla Ernewein.
The Bruin offense asserted itself in set two, the only one that was a rout, by hitting .360 (10-1-25) to .065 (9-7-31) for the Pios. The Bruins never trailed, and Chelsea Brustad served six straight winning points in a 7-0 run that boosted the margin to double digits at 14-4. The Bruins led by as many as 16 points at 23-7 before the set ended.
Two kills apiece by Tiffany Burk and Erin Campbell enabled the Bruins to take an early 7-2 lead in the third set, but the Pios took advantage of four attack errors in a 7-0 run that gave them an 11-9 lead. Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the way, with six ties. Down 23-24, the Bruins rescued the set with a tying block by Burk and Wilhelm, a kill by Capron, and a Lewis & Clark attack error.
George Fox led for a majority of the fourth set, eventually building a seven-point lead of 21-14, before the Pios stormed back yet again. Two kills by Kateleya Milan sparked a 4-0 run that made it 21-18, and following a service error and a kill by Campbell, winners by Milan, Alicia Callejo-Black, and two by Dowdy fueled a 6-0 run that put the Pios in front 24-23. A service error by the Pios equaled the score, but the Bruins gave the lead right back with a serve error of their own. A block by Capron and Kylee Adderson tied it again, and Capron’s kill put the Bruins one point away from victory. A Bruin ball-handling error knotted the set again, however, before they finally secured the hard-fought set and match on a Pios’ serving error and an ace by Payton Shrum.
Campbell joined Capron in double figures with 10 kills for the Bruins, and Burk was one off with nine. Shrum passed out 24 assists and Brustad 21, while Adderson had three aces. On defense, Chelsea Wilson had a game-high 21 digs, Capron added 18, and Campbell snared 13. The Bruins had 13 team blocks, with Burk in on seven (two solos), Wilhelm five, and Adderson four.
Milan had a game-high 17 kills and a .300 attack percentage for the Pioneers, while Dowdy chipped in with 13. Leia Matsunaga had 21 assists. Dowdy made 16 digs on defense, Elena Hoff 15, and de Kervor 10. Callejo-Black was in on three of the Pios’ five blocks.
NEXT: George Fox (3-4, NWC 1-0) visits Pacific University Friday for a 7:00 p.m. conference match. The Bruins and the Boxers have already met once this year, opening the season with a non-league match at Pacific that George Fox won 3-0 ... Lewis & Clark (4-6, NWC 0-1) plays again Saturday at Linfield College, also tipping off at 7:00 p.m.