Women’s volleyball rebound from loss, claw their way to victory

Aspen Brooks

After falling to the Pacific Lutheran Lutes in three sets on Friday, the Wildcats volleyball team beat the George Fox Bruins in an intense five-set match Saturday night.

The Lutes handled the ’Cats quickly, winning 25-23, 25-16, 25-12. Although the Wildcats had 67 digs to the Lutes’ 64, the Lutes’ offense was more effective, racking up 40 kills to the Wildcats’ 30.

Eryka Keoho, ’19, led the Wildcats’ offense with seven kills, followed by Caiti Barrie, ’16, Jamie Talbo, ’18, and Molly McTaggart, ’17, with six kills each.

Libero Courtney Uyeda, ’16, contributed 16 digs to the Wildcats’ defense, followed by Talbo with 14 and Darian Stedman, ’19, with 12.

Saturday night saw a much stronger offense from the Wildcats, earning 60 kills while the Bruins only scraped up 40. It was an intense match, with the Wildcats losing the first two sets and then battling back to win the last three, with scores of 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18 and 15-3.

Stedman led the Wildcats’ offense with 14 kills, followed by 12 a piece from Barrie and McTaggart, and 11 from Keoho.

Stedman also had the most digs of the night at 20, with Uyeda and Talbo contributing 20 and 14 digs respectively to the Wildcats’ total of 88 digs. In comparison, the Bruins only notched 62 digs.

Coach Shane Kimura said that the Wildcats “cut down some unforced mistakes as the match went on, and used that momentum” to drive their comeback.

In the first set, the two teams battled back and forth, with the score tied 12 times and the lead switching six times. Although the Wildcats had a higher hitting percentage, the Bruins beat them 22-25.

The second set was even closer than the first, with neither team securing a lead greater than three points at any point. The Wildcats had a lower hitting efficiency, leading to a 23-25 loss.

The momentum shifted dramatically in the third set, with the Wildcats maintaining a consistent lead. Their offense was on fire, earning a .406 hitting efficiency and winning 25-19.

The fourth set started out close, but the Wildcats pulled away and won 25-18 to tie the match at 2-2.

The Wildcats’ crowd was roaring in support as the fifth set began. The Wildcats dominated the Bruins, winning the set 15-3 and winning the match 3-2.

Next, the Wildcats take on the Boxers at 7 p.m. Oct 14 at Pacific University. Their next home match will be against the top-ranked Willamette Bearcats at 7 p.m. Oct 16 in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.