SALEM, Ore. – The Linfield volleyball club snapped a two-game win streak and got off to a less-than-ideal start to Northwest Conference action, losing to Willamette in five sets at the Cone Field House Wednesday night by the scores of 20-25, 25-18, 25-16, 21-25 and 15-12.
The Wildcats (4-5, 0-1 NWC) led the decisive fifth set 9-7, but the Bearcats (4-6, 1-0 NWC) clawed back, scoring five consecutive points to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Linfield rode the play of Kailana Ritte-Camara (Soph., Molokai, Hawaii) to claim the first set 25-20. The freshman had four kills as Linfield hit .170 as a team.
Willamette used big runs in the second and third sets to take control of the match. In the second set, Linfield held a 12-8 advantage before the Bearcats rattled off 10 straight points to take the lead. By the time the Wildcats finally notched a point to make it 22-15, it was too late to stage a comeback.
Willamette then closed out an evenly-matched third set with a 7-0 run to take a 2-1 lead.
Not easily stymied, the Wildcats rallied from 17-12 to win the fourth set and tie the match at 2-2. Audrey Frazier (Soph., Albany, Ore.) helped the Linfield cause with three service aces, including one at game point.
In the final set, Linfield jumped out to a 9-7 lead, but errors cost the club dearly. After a Willamette timeout, the Wildcats committed three straight errors to allow the Bearcats to take the lead at 12-9. Six points later, Carly Hargrave dealt the final blow with one of her game-high 14 kills.
In addition to Hargrave’s stellar play, Nicole Mertens added 11 kills for Willamette. Emily Compton spread the ball around for a match-high 39 assists.
For Linfield, Ritte-Camara and Victoria Thompson (Soph., Newberg, Ore.) both registered double-digit kills with 13 and 11, respectively. Ritte-Camara also had five service aces. Frazier supplied 31 assists and Samantha Lau had a game-high 24 digs.
A significantly taller Willamette team controlled the net, tallying 24 blocks to Linfield’s 16. The Bearcats were also more effective offensively, hitting .125 over five matches. The Wildcats hit just .099.
NEXT: Linfield travels to Tacoma to take on Puget Sound in a 7 p.m. match Saturday night.
Seven kills, 15 digs in loss
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128