Recap | Box Score
COLORADO COLLEGE 3, GEORGE FOX 1: Bruins Take 1 from No. 17 Tigers but No More
NEWBERG, Ore. – Hoping to spring a trap on the 17th-ranked Colorado College Tigers, the George Fox University Bruins took the opening set of a non-conference women’s volleyball match before the visitors turned the tables and escaped with a 3-1 victory (21-25, 25-16, 27-25, 25-10) Thursday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
For Colorado College, which improved to 11-4 on the season, it was a nice start to a four-game swing through the Pacific Northwest. For George Fox, which slipped to 4-7, it was a disappointing way to a string of three consecutive nights of home games that has Northwest Conference foes Whitman College and Whitworth University coming to town.
In the opening set, a 6-0 run that featured back-to-back service aces by Erin Campbell boosted the Bruins to an early 11-5 lead. The Tigers rallied with a 7-0 run of their own behind a pair of kills by both Kiersten Knoppel and Emily Phillips to regain a 15-14 advantage. The set was tied four straight times before the Bruins built a 21-18 lead on a kill by Tiffany Burk, but the Tigers scored three straight, consecutive kill by Kristen Liberty knotting it one final time at 21-21. A kill by Campbell broke the deadlock, and Burk added two spikes around a CC attack error to give the Bruins the first set.
Both teams hit well in the second set, the Tigers going 14-2-27 (.444) to the Bruins’ 13-4-30 (.300). The Tigers broke a 6-6 tie with a pair of Randi Braak winners around two aces by Liberty and never trailed again. Leading by only four at 18-14, the Tigers effectively sealed the deal by winning five in a row for a 23-14 margin and evened the match on a Bruin service error.
Each team had its offensive struggles in the third set, the Tigers slumping to .089 (12-8-45) and the Bruins to .000 (11-11-47) - which kept the stanza close. There were 16 ties, nine lead changes, and no lead larger than three points, which happened only at 12-9 for the Bruins on a Lucy Capron service ace. The Tigers had a chance to clinch the set when Kate Squires’ kill gave them a 24-23 lead, but back-to-back attack errors gave the Bruins a chance to win it. Lauren Hahn hit a winner to save the set for the Tigers, and Liberty served two aces in a row to give the visitors the win.
The final set was all Tigers as they hit .412 (15-1-34) while limiting the Bruins to a .143 mark (8-4-28). Knoppel had a kill and two blocks with Phillips as CC jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back. The Bruins were within four at 9-5 following a winner by Brooke Molloy, but the Tigers exploded for a 14-2 outburst that gave them an insurmountable 23-7 lead. Three straight kills, one by Burk and two by Capron, got the Bruins to double figures in points before the visitors closed the match on winners by Devon Lucero and Phillips.
Colorado College finished with a sizzling .265 attack percentage (56-16-151) to .161 (47-23-149) for George Fox. The Tigers also held an advantage in aces (11-5), digs (75-65), and blocks (11-5).
Capron and Burk led the Bruins with 14 and 13 kills respectively, while Payton Shrum delivered 24 assists and Chelsea Brustad 12. Capron also had 14 digs, with Molloy adding 11 and Betsy Wilhelm and Brooke Sturdevant 10 apiece. Campbell had three aces, and Burk had three block assists.
Knoppel and Liberty topped the Tigers with 12 and 11 kills respectively, with Lucero dishing out 42 assists. Laura Goldsmith had a match-high 16 digs, Liberty and Phillips made 13 each, and Lucero had 10. Liberty served seven aces, while Knoppel contributed six block assists and Squires and Hahn four apiece.
NEXT: George Fox hosts Whitman in NWC action while Colorado College goes to Linfield College Friday, both at 7:00 p.m.