Recap | Box Score
PACIFIC 3, GEORGE FOX 1: Boxers Stay Hot by Taking Rubber Match from Ice-Cold Bruins
NEWBERG, Ore. – Alexa Block and Marie Rewick combined for 24 kills as the visiting Pacific University Boxers took advantage of an all-around off night by George Fox University, taking a 3-1 Northwest Conference women’s volleyball win (25-22, 15-25, 25-22, 25-15) from the Bruins Friday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.
George Fox dropped to 8-9 overall and 6-4 in the conference while falling to the Boxers for the second time in three meetings; the Bruins beat the Boxers in the season opener but dropped both in-conference tilts. Pacific, winning for the fourth time in a row and the eighth time in the last 10 matches after a 0-7 start, improved to 8-9 overall and 7-2 in the NWC, climbing into second place in the standings behind Pacific Lutheran University.
In the first set, Pacific jumped out to an early 11-4 lead as Rewick and Tiana Greenhalgh had a pair of kills each. The Boxers’ largest lead came moments later at 13-5 following a kill by Block, and their lead was still seven at 18-11 when the Bruins mounted a rally. A kill by Cassie Irwin and three straight Pacific attack errors cut the deficit to four, and the Bruins climbed within two at 20-18 on a Kylee Adderson service ace. Another ace by Lucy Capron made it a 24-22 ballgame before a winner by Greenhalgh clinched the set for the Boxers.
George Fox held full sway in the second set, bouncing back from an early 3-0 deficit with a 12-3 run, led by Tiffany Burk’s three kills, to take a 12-6 advantage. The Boxers pulled within three at 12-9 before Irwin served six straight winning points, including a pair of aces, as the Bruins built an insurmountable 19-9 lead and cruised to victory. The Bruins limited the Boxes to a .021 hitting percentage in the set.
Pacific led virtually all of the first half of the third set before the Bruins eventually forged a 13-13 tie on an ace by Payton Shrum. The teams jockeyed for position the rest of the way with eight more ties, the last at 21-21. A kill by Block broke the tie, followed by a pair of Bruin attack errors, and after a winner by Burk kept the Bruins alive, Block finished off the set with a spike.
In the final set, the Bruins took a quick 2-0 lead on a kill by Capron and a block by Burk, but the Boxers used a 7-0 run, four of the points Bruin hitting errors, to seize control with a 10-4 lead. Having to play “catch-up” the rest of the way did not suit the Bruins, who got no closer than five thereafter. The Boxers closed the match by taking the final four points, all on Bruin hitting or ball-handling miscues.
Capron led the Bruins with nine kills and Burk added eight with a .316 hitting percentage, with Shrum handing out 27 assists. Chelsea Wilson made 29 digs, Irwin 19, Capron 14, and Shrum 10, while Adderson was in on four of the Bruins’ seven team blocks. The Bruins also served 11 aces, with five players contributing two each.
However, the Bruins were done in by their worst hitting percentage of the season of .053 (35-27-151). They also had five reception errors, a season-high seven blocking errors, and committed seven ball-handling errors, their second-highest total this fall.
Block had 13 kills and Rewick 11 for the Boxers, with Megan Zablan passing out 35 assists. Pacific hit .134 (45-23-164) as a team. Becky Sheller made 19 digs, Rewick 15, and Greenhalgh 14, and Mariah McHolland had three block assists.
NEXT: George Fox plays five of its final six games on the road, starting next Friday at the 13th-ranked University of Puget Sound. Game time is 7:00 p.m. in Tacoma,Wash. ... Pacific hosts Willamette University Saturday at 7:00 p.m.