McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Freshman Kailana Ritte-Camara (Soph., Molokai, Hawaii) spiked 18 kills and Audrey Frazier (Soph., Albany, Ore.) tallied 36 assists as Linfield (7-7) outlasted Lewis and Clark (6-9) in a see-saw Northwest Conference battle Friday night at Ted Wilson Gymnasium.
The 'Cats pulled even with the Pios in the NWC standings at 2-3, good for a share of fifth place.
The first set was all Linfield as the 'Cats dominated the Pioneers 25-17 to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Wildcats middle blocker Kelsey Ludin (Jr., Bozeman, Mont.) had two service aces and four kills to help the 'Cats to a .200 attack percentage in the first set.
The Pios came back swinging in the second set, quickly going up 12-5. The lead proved insurmountable for Linfield, which eventually lost 25-15. The teams headed into the break tied at one set each.
The heated rivalry continued in the third set with the margin for either team did not exceed two through the first 20 points. The 'Cats finally found their groove and took a 18-12 lead. Lewis & Clark rallied late to come within one point, but the Wildcats held strong to win the set 25-22 and take the advantage 2-1 in the match.
Linfield snatched the lead early in the fourth set but the Pioneers battled back to within two. The 'Cats emerged from a timeout with a big rally and eventually captured the set 25-17 and the match 3-1.
In addition to Ritte-Camara's 18 kllls and six digs, the Wildcats benefited from Ludin's 10 kills, two aces and a pair of block assists. Libero Samantha Lau chipped in with 19 digs and two aces, while Leimomi Hookano (Soph., Kaneohe, Hawaii) totaled four kills, three block assists and two digs.
Kataleya Milan and Jennifer Dowdy each had 10 kills for the Pioneers. Setter Leia Matsunaga had 21 assists.
AROUND THE NWC: No. 20 Pacific Lutheran (12-2) defeated Whitman 3-1, George Fox (7-8) swamped Willamette 3-1, and defending champion Whitworth swept title contender Puget Sound 3-0.
NEXT: Linfield travels to Forest Grove for a NWC contest against Pacific (9-5) Saturday at 7 p.m.
Tara Hill and Victoria Thompson
Wildcats combine for six blocks
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128