WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Overcoming a 1-0 deficit in sets, the Whitman Missionaries combined 18 attacks and 12 digs from Jillian Davis with 44 assists from setter Rachel Cline for a four-frame Northwest Conference victory over the Linfield Wildcats Friday night inside Sherwood Center.
Out-hit and out-blocked, Linfield (7-8, 2-5 NWC) dropped its sixth straight match, falling behind Whitman in a crowded middle section of the conference standings. Whitman (5-9, 3-4 NWC), led by first-year coach Matt Helm, kept its home-floor record perfect at 3-0.
In addition to Davis’ dominant two-way performance, the Missionaries were fueled by attackers Olivia Nielson and Jazmine Moledina, each of whom logged 10 kills in the match.
Kelsey Ludin (Jr., Bozeman, Mont.) topped Linfield’s statistical ledger with 10 kills while also adding two service aces and three digs. Leimomi Hookano (Soph., Kaneohe, Hawaii) had nine kills and Victoria Thompson (Soph., Newberg, Ore.) accounted for eight kills, two aces and a couple of blocks.
Things looked promising for the Wildcats in the early going. Linfield pulled away in the late stages of the first set to nail down a 26-24 win. Consecutive service aces by Thompson allowed the ‘Cats to take a 1-0 advantage in the match.
Whitman darted ahead in the second stanza, building leads of 9-3 and 18-8 on the way to a decisive seven-point win. Shayli Coppock (Jr., Temecula, Calif.) had four kills and Ludin added three more to pace the Wildcats. Linfield committed seven attack errors to Whitman’s one as the Missionaries squared the match at one set apiece.
Four kills from Davis powered Whitman to another commanding victory in the third frame. The ‘Cats registered more errors (8) than kills (7) to further lose traction in the contest.
In the fourth set, the Missionaries built a five-point edge, 14-9, on their way to the clinching match point. Kills by Kailana Ritte-Camara (Soph., Molokai, Hawaii), Hookano and Audrey Frazier (Soph., Albany, Ore.) brought the visitors back to within three, 23-20, but Courtney Brewer’s kill and Rachel Shober’s service ace sealed the outcome.
Frazier passed out 22 assists while also collecting three kills and three digs. Coppock finished with six kills and six assists, while Ritte-Camara totaled six kills and a dozen digs in a losing effort.
The Missionaries hit .266 compared with .138 for the ‘Cats. The hosts also piled up 14 blocks to Linfield’s three and had nine aces on the night.
‘CAT SCRATCH: The Wildcats are now 0-5 when facing an opponent on its home court. . . Linfield lost its fifth straight NWC matchup following a 2-0 start to conference play.
NEXT: Linfield heads north to Spokane to face Whitworth in a Saturday night match at the Whitworth Fieldhouse. Start time is set for 7 p.m.
22 assists, 3 kills, 3 digs
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