Oct 21, 2011

LEWIS & CLARK 3, GEORGE FOX 2: Bruins Challenge Red-Hot Pioneers but Fall in Five

A Winning Tradition

  • 2 NCCAA National Championships (1984, 1987)
  • 1 NAIA National Tournament (1998)
  • 1 Women's Conference of Independent Colleges Championship (1982)
  • 1 Northwest Conference Championship (1998)
  • 2 NCCAA National Coaches of the Year
  • 2 NAIA District Coaches of the Year
  • 1 Northwest Conference Coach of the Year
  • 13 All-Americans 
  • 5 Academic All-Americans

NEWBERG, Ore. – Extending their winning streak to five in a row, the red-hot Lewis & Clark College Pioneers pulled out a harder-than-expected 3-2 road win over the upset-minded George Fox University Bruins in Northwest Conference women’s volleyball action Friday night here at the Wheeler Sports Center’s Miller Gym.

Lewis & Clark improved to 11-10 overall and 7-4 in the conference with a 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 13-25, 15-7 decision over the Bruins.  George Fox fell to 7-13 overall and 2-9 in the NWC with its fifth consecutive setback.

With wins over the three nationally-ranked NWC teams in their previous four matches, the Pios might have hoped for a breather against the struggling Bruins, but the home team showed it would not go down lightly by setting a blistering pace in the first set.  The Bruins hit .344 with 16 kills, seven of them by Stephanie Kerr, while limiting the Pios to a .133 percentage.  Kills by Tiffany Burk, Kerr, and Erin Campbell got the Bruins off to a 3-0 lead, and they maintained a margin between two and five points for most of the set before pulling away at the end.  An ace by Patti Reeves sealed the deal for the Bruins.

In the second set, the Pioneers built a big lead and had to hold off a furious Bruin comeback attempt.  Leading only 12-11 after a kill by Kerr brought the Bruins within one, the Pios took off on a 9-2 streak, fueled by four Jennifer Dowdy kills, to mount a 21-13 advantage.  After trading two points apiece, the Bruins ripped off an 8-1 outburst, sparked by a pair of winners by Campbell, and had a chance to tie with Reeves serving at 24-23.  However, indecision caused the Bruins let a final offensive set drop between two players for the final point, a disappointing end to the comeback for the home team.

After five early ties in the third set, the Pios went on a 5-0 run behind three kills by Kataleya Milan, only to have Campbell collect two kills and a block in a 7-1 response that gave the Bruins a 14-13 lead.  The Pios regained a 16-14 advantage, but the Bruins tied it one last time at 16-16 on another ace by Reeves.  Dowdy broke the deadlock with a kill, starting a 9-4 Pio run to close out the set and give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

The Bruins once again sizzled offensively in the fourth set, evening the match by hitting .324 while holding the Pios to a .000 mark.  Reeves served two more aces and Campbell added two kills in a 9-0 run that gave the Bruins total control at 13-3, and they extended it to 19-6 on a winner by Cassie Irwin.  A spike by Campbell completed the set.

A kill by Burk gave the Bruins a quick 1-0 lead to start the tie-breaking set, but that was essentially the Bruins’ last gasp.  Kills by Dowdy and Milan around a George Fox attack error gave the Pioneers the lead for good at 3-1, and back-to-back winners by Brigitte Russo and an ace by Margaret Dowling made it an insurmountable 8-3 L&C lead.  The Pios hit .316 in the final set to .000 for the Bruins.

Campbell had 14 kills and Kerr 13 to lead the Bruins, with Mackenzie Teigen handing out 26 assists and Chelsea Wilson 22.  Reeves had 24 digs and five aces, while Campbell added 22 digs, Wilson 15, Teigen 14, and Betsy Wilhelm 11.  Kylee Adderson had three blocks, including one solo.

Dowdy paced the Pios with 16 kills, Milan added 13, and Russo knocked down 10.  Leia Matsunaga guided the offense with 45 assists.  Milan and Elena Hoff made 25 digs apiece, while Matsunaga had 17, Dowling 16, and Dowdy 10.  Russo had five blocks, one solo, and Dowling had four block assists.

NEXT: George Fox takes to the road for its next three matches, starting Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Wash. ... Lewis & Clark visits Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., Saturday, also at 7:00 p.m.