SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth outscored Linfield 7-4 down the stretch to pull out a topsy turvy five-set Northwest Conference victory on its home floor Saturday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse. The scores were 14-25, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25 and 16-14.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 7-9 for the season and 2-6 in the NWC at the midway point of the season. Whitworth improved to 5-9 and 2-6 in the NWC.
Kailana Ritte-Camara (Jr., Molokai, Hawaii) paced Linfield with 14 kills and 20 digs. Shayli Coppock (Sr., Temecula, Calif) and Leimomi Hookano each notched nine kills while Victoria Thompson (Jr., Newberg, Ore.) had kills and Kelsey Ludin (Sr., Bozeman, Mont.) totaled seven kills. Ludin and Thompson combined for seven blocks, while Audrey Frazier (Jr., Albany, Ore.) distributed 39 assists to go along with three service aces. Courtney Wanamaker (Jr., West Linn, Ore.) scooped up 25 digs for the ‘Cats.
A solo block by Thompson, together with a service ace by Frazier, enabled Linfield to open up a 5-1 spread in the all-important fifth set. Whitworth rebounded to knot things up at 10. Kills by Jalana White and Abi Hedlund put the Pirates in front, 13-11, forcing the Wildcats to call timeout. Coppock answered with a kill of her own, and coupled with a Wanamaker ace, the Wildcats squared the set once more at 14. But back-to-back attack errors by Ludin and Hookano sealed the outcome in the home team’s favor.
White pounded a match-high 20 kills and chipped in four blocks to lead Whitworth. Whitney Santos had 30 digs and Maddye Dinsmore registered 45 assists.
Whitworth controlled the first set from the opening minutes, reeling off four straight points to open a 5-1 advantage. From there, the Pirates used matching kills by Briauna Stadeli and a couple of attack errors by the Wildcats to extend their margin to 14-7. The ‘Cats never threatened after that, falling by nine points, 25-14. Ritte-Camara totaled four of Linfield’s nine kills but the visitors also committed seven errors.
Rebounding nicely in the second set, Linfield led from start to finish to even the match at 1. The Pirates totaled more kills than the Wildcats, 12-9, but the Wildcats forced 10 miscues on their way to the 25-22 win.
Linfield took command in the third set, taking the lead after a 12-all tie and never relinquishing it. Five kills plus a service ace by Hookano spurred the Wildcats to the five-point victory. Linfield hit .128 at the net to the Pirates .023.
A 6-0 Whitworth run midway through the fourth set was followed by a 4-0 Linfield skein. The Pirates clung to a 12-10 lead, but another 5-0 burst by the hosts carried them a 25-19 win, sending the match to a deciding frame.
The loss was Linfield’s seventh consecutive and sixth defeat in a row in conference play.
COMING UP: Linfield remains on the road for its next three NWC contests, including matchups Friday night at Willamette and Saturday at Lewis & Clark. Both matches are set to begin at 7 o’clock.
Coach Shane Kimura
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128