McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Playing within the confines of Ted Wilson Gymnasium for the first time in nearly a month, Linfield won just a single set against George Fox as the Bruins emerged with the 25-22, 25-27, 25-18, 25-16 victory Saturday night.
George Fox (9-10, 7-5 NWC) got triple-digits kills from a trio of outside hitters to maintain their hold on fourth place in the Northwest Conference team standings. Kailana Ritte-Camara (Soph., Molokai, Hawaii) and Victoria Thompson (Soph., Newberg, Ore.) combined for 23 kills and five blocks to pace the Wildcats (8-12, 3-9 NWC).
A sluggish start doomed the ‘Cats in the opening set. With Linfield committing a slew of errors and George Fox finding openings left and right, the Bruins opened up a seven-point lead, 14-7.
Up 20-14, George Fox looked to put an end to things before Linfield’s late rally pulled the home team to within one, 23-22. But a Lucy Capron kill and a Wildcat attacking error gave the first-set win to the visitors. GFU’s Erin Campbell and Linfield’s Ritte-Camara paced their respective teams with six kills each.
To describe the second set as “tight” or “close” would be an understatement. Despite being down or knotted up for the majority of a game that featured 11 ties and five lead changes, the Wildcats prevailed 27-25 to equal the score at one win apiece.
After digging a four-point hole midway through the set, the ‘Cats rattled off four straight to tie the score at 17-all and kick off a back-and-forth battle between the Yamhill County rivals. The Bruins reached set point, but a 5-0 Wildcat run – highlighted by a block from Thompson and Shayli Coppock (Jr., Temecula, Calif.) – gave Linfield its first lead since 7-6.
Ritte-Camara pounded the ball home on back-to-back plays to secure the third-set win. Her set-clinching point went careening off a George Fox player and into the stands, sending the ‘Cats to the mid-match break to a round of applause from the home crowd.
The Bruins built up an eight-point cushion in the third set and never looked back en route to the 25-18 victory. Neither club was particularly effective at the net, registering negative attacking percentages, but Linfield gave away 17 points, including 10 attacking errors and four bad serves.
Three big runs – of five, four and three points each – keyed another George Fox triumph in the decisive fourth set. Nine errors canceled out nine kills for Linfield, while Capron and Casie Irwin supplied a total of 10 kills to pace the Bruins.
On the night, George Fox’s Campbell led all players with 20 kills, Campbell added 14 and Irwin finished with 10. Payton Shrum spread around a match-high 40 assists.
Ritte-Camara totaled 13 kills, Thompson supplied 10 kills and a match-high four block assists. Audrey Frazier (Soph., Albany, Ore.) dished out 27 assists and Courtney Uyeda (Fr., Honolulu, Hawaii) and Courtney Wanamaker (Soph., West Linn, Ore.) registered 25 and 22 digs, respectively.
COMING UP: The Wildcats play their second mid-week game of the NWC season when they host Pacific Wednesday evening in Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.
Linfield stuffs four GFU attacks
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128