Bruins Hand Pirates First NWC Loss

Bruins Hand Pirates First NWC Loss

SPOKANE, Wash. – Paige O'Rear had 17 kills to lead visiting George Fox to a four-set Northwest Conference volleyball upset of Whitworth on Friday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

The Bruins (5-12 overall, 2-5 NWC) won 17-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-20 to end a 13-match losing streak to the Pirates (12-5, 6-1 NWC).

Whitworth hit .258 to win the opening set.  Emiko Kahler had four kills as the Pirates pulled away from an 8-8 tie with an 11-3 run.  Danielle Tang's kill gave the Pirates a 19-11 lead.  Kahler and Iris Tikhonov combined for a block to get the Bucs within set point and a Bruin error ended the game in Whitworth's favor.

The second set proved critical.  The Pirates opened with a 5-0 lead, but GFU rallied to tie the set 6-6.  From that point there were eight more ties and five lead changes.  Neither team led by more than three points.  Whitworth took a 20-17 lead on a Kahler kill, but the Bruins rallied to go up 24-22 on a Whitworth error.  The Bucs scored the next three points for set point, but GFU scored three straight to win the game after consecutive kills by O'Rear.

The Bruins used that momentum to pull off the upset.  They had three blocks and limited Whitworth to only six kills while running away with the third set.  The Pirates hit only -0.025 in the frame and Ashtyn Butler led GFU with four kills.

The Bruins kept it going in the fourth set, going up 11-7 on a block by Bailey LeBreton and Aryah Zeller.  They never trailed again.  Whitworth got within 19-17 on a kill by Kahler, but that's as close as the Bucs would get.  GFU finished out the victory with a kill by Liv Alexander.

Kahler led Whitworth in kills (15) and digs (19).  Abby Wolverton had 10 kills, while Madison Douglas was in on four block assists.

O'Rear added 12 kills to post a double-double for GFU.  Butler added 15 kills and LeBreton had 11, giving the Bruins three in double figures.  Laney Search dished 44 assists.

Whitworth will try to rebound on Saturday when the Pirates host Lewis & Clark.