Whitman volleyball loses to George Fox Saturday night in four games

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WALLA WALLA — George Fox rallied to win a tight game three and then closed out a 3-1 Northwest Conference volleyball victory over Whitman College Saturday night in Sherwood Center.


With three players reaching double digits in kills, George Fox posted a 25-17, 21-25, 26-24, 25-13 triumph.


The Bruins, now 15-5 on the season, are 8-4 in the NWC and part of a three-way tie for second place.


Whitman, getting a match-high 16 kills from Alex Graves, slipped to 1-11 in the NWC and 4-14 overall. The Missionaries have lost eight conference matches by a 3-1 count.


On Friday night, Lewis Clark handed Whitman a 25-11, 22-25, 25-19 and 25-22 Northwest Conference defeat.


Saturday, Lindsay Hovee led George Fox with 14 kills and 28 digs. Sarah Crossfield and Stephanie Kerr added 10 kills apiece.


Whitman’s Courtney Brewer had 10 kills, seven block assists, and one solo block.


Both teams were active at the net with 24 blocks assists each. Kaitlyn Maddams, who had nine of those assists for the Bruins, also chipped in with eight kills.


Each side also saw four players reach double digits in digs. In addition to Hovee’s 28, George Fox got 16 from Ali Toedtemeier, 14 from Jennifer Panico and 13 from Carley Johnson.


For Whitman, Kelsie Butts and Breanne Robirds led the way with 15 and 14 digs, respectively. Graves and Katie Miller each had a dozen digs.


George Fox dominated game one, racing away to leads of 7-1, 11-3, 16-8 and 20-11. A four-point spurt by the Missionaries late in the game made the final score closer, but Kerr’s kill wrapped up the win for the Bruins.


Game two was a different story as the two sides deadlocked seven times early in the set. After George Fox inched ahead 13-9, Whitman won the next nine points for an 18-13 lead. Brewer and Graves had two kills apiece to spark the run, and Brewer teamed with Katie Richards for two blocks at the net.


The Bruins responded with a four-point mini-run to trail by one, but kills by Brewer and Graves kept the Missionaries in front 19-17 and 21-17.

Graves, who had a total of seven kills in the set, added two more down the stretch as Whitman squared the match at 1-1.


Whitman retained command to start the third game, breaking free of a 6-6 stalemate to grab leads of 13-7, 14-9 and 16-12. But the Bruins got two kills from Kerr and one from Crossfield, along with two blocks at the net, and evened the score at 20-20.


Tie scores followed on points 21, 22, 23 and 24 before two more Kerr kills gave George Fox a 26-24 win.


As was the case in the opening set, George Fox took charge early in game four and held comfortable leads the rest of the way.


Richards directed Whitman’s offense with 41 assists. She also had eight digs, five block assists and two service aces.


George Fox split its setting work between Toedtemeier, who had 26 assists, and Lani Rasmussen, who had 19.


Whitman hosts Lewis-Clark State in a non-conference match on Tuesday and then hits the road next weekend, playing at Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound.

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