NEWBERG, Ore. – Hitting a career-high .368 with 18 kills, including the final three points of the fifth set, Erin Campbell led the George Fox University Bruins past the Whitman College Missionaries 3-2 (24-26, 25-23, 25-13, 24-26, 15-13) in a back-and-forth women’s volleyball match here Friday night at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
Campbell had five kills early in the first set as the Bruins jumped out to a 17-11 lead, but the Missionaries refused to go away. An 8-2 run, capped by a series of one George Fox service error and three attack errors, enabled the visitors to knot it 19-19. The Bruins regained the lead 22-20 on kills by Tiffany Burk and Lucy Capron, but the Missionaries reeled off four in a row, including winners by Jazmine Moledina, Courtney Brewer and Jillian Davis, to go up 24-22. Kills by Capron and Campbell kept the Bruins alive, but Davis spiked one and Olivia Nielson recorded a block to give Whitman the opener.
George Fox again took a sizeable lead in the second set, building a 14-9 advantage following kills by Burk and Campbell. Whitman responded with a 10-2 outburst for a 19-16 lead, only to see the Bruins come back with five unanswered scores for a 21-19 lead of their own. After the visitors forged a 22-22 tie, kills by Capron and Burk put the Bruins ahead, and a combo block by Burk and Cassie Irwin evened the match.
The third set was all George Fox as the Bruins stifled the Whitman attack to the tune of a minus -.229 hitting percentage (five kills and 13 errors, only two of which were blocks, in 35 attempts). The Bruins never trailed and took their largest lead of 18-8 on a Whitman hitting miscue before the Missionaries mounted their last mild threat, closing the gap to 18-13 with five points in a row. The Bruins scored the final seven points, however, the last four on unforced Whitman hitting errors.
In the fourth set, Whitman jumped out to a 4-0 lead and was up 11-8 when the Bruins rallied. An 8-2 run, capped by back-to-back aces by Capron, enabled the Bruins to take a 16-13 lead, but it would not last long as the Missionaries scored five straight for an 18-16 lead. The set see-sawed from there, and the Bruins appeared ready to salt the match away when a kill by Capron made it 24-22. Davis hit two winners in a row to rescue the Missionaries, both shots touching the back line, and a Bruin ball-handling error and a block by Nielson and Rachel Cline sent the match into a deciding set.
The Bruins spread the wealth around in building a 7-3 fifth-set lead, with Burk, Irwin, Kylee Adderson and Campbell all getting kills. Rachel Shober sparked a Whitman rally with a kill and a service ace that gave the visitors an 8-7 lead before Campbell hit a winner to tie it 8-8. Moledina broke the deadlock with a kill and the Missionaries thrice took two-point leads, the last at 12-10 on a Bruin attack error. A Capron kill and a Whitman hitting error made it 12-12, but a kill by Davis gave the Missionaries one last lead. Campbell then took over, hitting three winners in a row to secure the hard-fought win for the home team.
Campbell’s .368 hitting mark came on 18 kills, high for the match, and only four errors in 38 attempts. Capron added 14 winners for the Bruins and Burk put down 11. Payton Shrum handed out a career-high 49 assists. Defensively, Capron had 22 digs, Chelsea Wilson 19, Irwin 13, and Shrum 11. At the net, Irwin led the way with six blocks out of the Bruins’ eight, including one solo.
Moledina, who had only 39 kills all season, broke loose for 14 kills with a .286 percentage to pace the Missionaries, and Davis added 13. Cline contributed 34 assists and Taylor Aschenbrenner 13. Hannah Linsenmayer led a quintet of Missionaries in double figures in digs with 20, followed by Shober with 17, Davis 15, Becca Gotz 13, and Cline 12. Nielson was in on five of Whitman’s seven blocks, with one solo. Brewer had two solo stuffs.
NEXT: George Fox (5-7, NWC 3-2) concludes a five-game home stand Saturday with a 5:00 p.m. match against Whitworth University ... Whitman (4-8, NWC 2-3) visits Lewis & Clark College, also at 5:00 p.m.