By Alli Kieckbusch– Student Writer
NEWBERG, Oregon– Whitworth University scored the final three points of the match to remain undefeated in Northwest Conference play with a five-set win at George Fox University on Friday night (25-23, 25-17, 25-21, 25-17, 15-13). The Pirates improve to 3-0 in conference and 9-4 overall, while the Bruins fell to 0-3 in the NWC and 6-5 overall with their first home loss of the season.
Whitworth started strong in a close first set. After an early 10-6 Pirate lead, a kill from Danyle Dupray capped a 6-0 run to put the Bruins up two (12-10). Erin White's dump brought the Bucs back within three (22-19). However, George Fox's Alyssa Burch sealed a Bruin set win with a kill.
The Bucs handily took the second set with a 0.375 hitting percentage. White had a couple of service aces to spark the Pirate's momentum, helping them turn a 10-1 run into an 18-11 lead. A big kill from Iris Tinkhonov gave the Bucs a 23-16 lead, followed by two successful attacks from Emiko Kahler.
The Pirates started the third set with a 5-0 run. The Bruins rallied for a 17-10 lead, but a kill from Jessica Schmautz started Whitworth's comeback at 17-11. A big kill from Kahler tied the game 21-21, but George Fox won the final four points to clinch the set.
Another close set allowed the Pirates to tie the match. The Bucs forced several late Bruin errors, winning the set with Madison Douglas's successful attack. She finished the game with 5 kills.
Whitworth fought hard in the final stanza, trailing by one point for most of the set. Lauren Budde had a kill that put the Pirates in the lead (14-13), and they went on to win the final set with 8 kills.
Danyle Dupray led the Bruins with 16 kills, and Austyn Butler added 12. Laney Search had 25 assists.
The Pirates will play Pacific University Saturday night in Forest Grove, Oregon at 5:00 PM PDT to continue Northwest Conference play.