SALEM, Ore. – The 10th-ranked Puget Sound volleyball team suffered its first conference loss on Friday in five sets at Willamette. The Bearcats (3-9, 1-4 NWC) overcame a two sets to none deficit to stop a four-match Logger winning streak and win their first match of the Northwest Conference season.
The Loggers looked to be cruising to a fifth straight win before the Bearcats turned the tables in the third set. Willamette took the match 22-25, 9-25, 25-7, 25-23 15-12.
As a team, the Loggers hit .453 as a team and kept the Bearcats in single digits in the second set to take a 2-0 lead. However, the match took a U-turn in the third set as it was the Bearcats that picked up the hot hand. The Logger hit -.115 in the third set while the Bearcats did not make an attacking error to hit .435 and take the set 25-7.
The Bearcats seized the opportunity of the momentum shift and squeaked out a win in the fourth set to force a fifth and deciding set. Midusyn Leenstra led the comeback with 15 kills while Carly Hargrave added 10 kills.
In the fifth set, the Bearcats jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead before Jackie Harvey was able to put the Logger on the board. A pair of kills from Harvey later in the set gave the Loggers their only lead of the set at 11-10. Shannon Walta and Leenstra then pounded back-to-back kills to reclaim the lead for the Bearcats.
Harvey tied it up at 12-12 before the Bearcats rattled off the final three points to earn their first win of the conference season. Harvey ended with 13 kills and 15 digs.
The Loggers will look to get back in the win column tomorrow when they visit Linfield at 7 p.m.