McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Freshman Leimomi Hookano smashed 10 kills and recorded a season-high .270 attack percentage to propel the Wildcats over NAIA opponent Northwest Christian University 3-1 in a thrilling non-conference match-up Wednesday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
Linfield (6-7) and Northwest Christian (8-7) traded blows in a back-and-forth battle in the first set. Linfield's 11 kills and .119 hitting percentage knocked off Northwest Christian's .089 hitting percentage to win the set 25-23 and take the advantage 1-0.
In the second set, the Beacons took an early advantage and led for most of the set, but trailing by six points late, the 'Cats rallied back to within one. Northwest Christian held Linfield for the remainder of the set and won 25-23, evening the match at one apiece.
The 'Cats came out firing in the third set, scoring eight straight points before the Beacons got on the board. With the help of a .273 hitting percentage, Linfield kept its foot on the gas throughout the set, eventually smoking Northwest Christian 25-13 to take a 2-1 lead.
Early in the fourth set it seemed unclear who would prevail as both teams exchanged points. The Beacons pulled away for a five point lead, but the 'Cats charged back to tie the set up at 14-14. Northwest Christian stretched another lead to four points, but the 'Cats scratched their way back yet again, eventually tying the score at 24-24. After an error by Northwest Christian, it was Kailana Ritte-Camara (Jr., Molokai, Hawaii) who ended a crushing spike to win the set 26-24 as well as the match 3-1.
Audrey Frazier (Jr., Albany, Ore.) had 34 assists and Samantha Lau tallied a season-high 38 digs on their way to a Wildcats win.
For the Beacons, Maren Mansfield tallied a team-high 11 kills. Cori Wallace spread the ball around for 26 assists and added 16 digs and libero Dana Clark registered 23 digs.
'CAT SCRATCH: Head Coach Shane Kimura achieved his 600th career victory with the Wildcats...he is the 15th NCAA Division III coach to achieve this feat...his all-time record now stands at 600-436.
AROUND THE NWC: Pacific Lutheran (11-2) defeated NCAA Division II opponent St. Martin's 3-2...Pacific (9-5) topped George Fox (6-8) 3-1 in Newberg.
NEXT UP: The Pioneers from Lewis & Clark (6-8) visit McMinnville for a Northwest Conference matchup Friday at 7 p.m.
Head Coach Shane Kimura
Boasts 600-436 all-time record
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128