Recap | Box Score
PACIFIC 3, GEORGE FOX 2: Bruins Rally from 2 Sets Down but Boxers Take Deciding Set
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Rallying from a 2-0 deficit with dominating efforts in sets three and four, George Fox University forced a deciding fifth game, only to have the Pacific University Boxers regain control for a 3-2 Northwest Conference win over the Bruins (25-22, 25-21, 14-25, 10-25, 15-11) in women’s volleyball Friday night here at the Stoller Center.
It was the second meeting between the teams this fall, George Fox having defeated Pacific 3-0 here to open the season on Aug. 31 in a non-conference game. The Bruins slipped to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference, while the Boxers snapped a seven-game skid, moving to 1-7 overall and 1-0 in the NWC.
Other than a 1-0 lead by George Fox to open the match, Pacific led the entire way in the first set. Back-to-back blocks, by Marie Rewick in each combining with Hannah Smargiassi and the appropriately-named Alexa Block, capped a 6-0 run that gave the Boxers an early 12-4 advantage. The Bruins twice closed within two, once at 14-12 after an 8-2 spurt and again at 24-22, before the Boxers ended the set with a kill by Rewick. Pacific hit .147 in the set while holding the Bruins to a .000 mark.
In the second set, the Bruins took an early 4-1 lead with a kill by Erin Campbell and a service ace by Lucy Capron, but the Boxers went on a 5-0 run that featured a pair of aces by Emily Farnham for a 6-4 lead and never trailed again. Their largest lead came at 19-13 on a kill by Block. A 5-0 run of their own pulled the Bruins within in one at 19-18, but a service error halted their momentum and the Boxers again stretched their lead, ending the set as the Bruins hit yet another service error. The Boxers hit only .079 in the set but still topped the Bruins’ .026.
The Bruins dominated sets three and four, winning each by double digits. In set three, the visitors posted a .250 hitting percentage while holding the home team to a minus -.029 mark, with 10 errors that included four George Fox blocks. The Bruins opened with a 5-0 start that included two kills by Capron and an ace by Payton Shrum. Another Capron winner made it 13-5 Bruins. The Boxers climbed within four at 15-11 on a winner by Mariah McHolland, but the Bruins stopped that with a 6-0 run, Capron serving two aces, that effectively iced the set.
Set four was even more commanding as the Bruins slugged a robust .417 (12 kills and only two errors) to .000 for the Boxers. Capron served three aces and Tiffany Burk had two kills as the Bruins exploded for a 7-0 lead, and the Boxers got no closer than four points the rest of the way. The Bruins scored the last three points of the set, two on winners by Campbell, to even the match.
After splitting the first four points of the final set, the Boxers reeled off four unanswered points to surge ahead. They stretched the margin to 11-4 after consecutive kills by Rewick and one by Tiana Greenhalgh. Down 14-8, the Bruins won three straight points on a kill by Burk, a block by Campbell and Kylee Adderson, and a kill by Capron, before the Boxers clinched the match with a winner by McHolland. Pacific rebounded to hit .300 in the final stanza while George Fox managed only a .158 hitting percentage.
Capron paced the Bruins with 13 kills and a .314 attack percentage, with 12 digs and seven service aces, the latter the best total by a Bruin player since Jeni Nelson had six vs. Nebraska Wesleyan on Aug. 30, 2003. Burk added 10 kills as the Bruins hit .142 as a team (41-22-134). Shrum passed out 25 assists. Chelsea Wilson made a game-high 21 digs and Campbell added 11. Along the front, the Bruins made 11 blocks, Adderson leading the way with six block assists.
Block led the Boxers with 14 kills and McHolland notched 11, while Farnham handed out 37 assists. Pacific was held to a .082 (46-33-158) hitting percentage as a team. Becky Sheller made 20 digs, Rewick 12, and Farnham 11, and McHolland had six block assists out of the Boxers’ team total of nine. Farnham and McHolland each had three aces.
NEXT: George Fox plays its next five matches at home, starting with the 11th-ranked University of Puget Sound next Friday at 7:00 p.m. ... Pacific is back in action Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Willamette University.