MCMINNVILLE, Ore.– Whitworth University concluded the first half of Northwest Conference play with a 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 sweep at Linfield on Friday evening. The Bucs (12-5 overall, 7-1 NWC) lead the conference by a half a game. The Wildcats dropped to 5-10, 0-7.
The Pirates won the first set handily. Linfield kept things close until a kill from Madison Douglas stretched the lead to 11-6. The Bucs used a 5-0 run to take a 20-10 lead, but Linfield rallied to within 24-21. A kill from Jessica Schmautz sealed the stanza for Whitworth.
Whitworth jumped on the Wildcats early with a 5-0 lead in set two, but Linfield came back to tie it 10-10. Laina Damon had a big service ace at 14-10, but the Wildcats rallied to take the lead 17-16. Lauren Budde had two consecutive kills that put the Bucs up 21-18, and Douglas finished off the set with the final point.
Whitworth finished the match with a strong final set. Emiko Kahler had a kill to put the Bucs up 12-4. Linfield rallied again, getting to within 23-21 on Tessa Doerfler's service ace. Doerfler followed with a service error and Schmautz ended the match with her final kill.
Regan Dean of Linfield had 8 kills, and Taylor Souza contributed 20 digs.
The Pirates will head back to the Fieldhouse on Wednesday, October 10th to take on Lewis-Clark State in a non-conference match for the second time this season.