PORTLAND - Falling just a few points short of forcing a deciding fifth game, Whitman College dropped a 25-19, 25-16, 22-25, 25-22 volleyball decision to Lewis & Clark Saturday evening in Portland, Ore.
Whitman slipped to 0-8 in the NWC and 1-13 overall.
After the Pioneers took the first two sets, Whitman's Jillian Davis took charge in the third, showing signs of the talent that landed her on the All-NWC First Team a year ago during her rookie season.
Davis, slowed this season by injury, knocked down seven kills and served a pair of aces as Whitman rallied to win the third set by three points. The Missionaries netted two of their last three points on Davis kills.
Junior middle blocker Courtney Brewer contributed to three blocks and added a kill to help Whitman forge a 10-10 tie in the fourth set.
The Pioneers responded by bolting into a 17-11 lead before the Missionaries came charging back.
First-year outside hitter Samantha Cahill started the rally with a kill and then teamed with junior Olivia Nielson for a block at the net.
After Nielson added a kill, Brewer teamed with first-year Missionary Megan Bafus for two more blocks to trim Whitman's deficit to 19-18.
Lewis & Clark stretched its lead again, taking four of the next five points for a 23-19 cushion, but Whitman countered with the next three points on Cahill's kill and ace, followed by a block Brewer shared with sophomore setter Taylor Aschenbrenner.
There the comeback ended, however, as the Pioneers notched the next two points on a kill and Whitman attack error to close out the set and the match.
Davis paced Whitman with 13 kills, 18 digs and three aces. Bafus added 10 kills and five block assists.
Brewer finished with eight of Whitman's 22 block assists. Aschenbrenner was good for 35 assists and 15 digs. First-year libero Annie Sing had a match-high 27 digs.
Kateleya Milan led Lewis & Clark with 18 kills and 20 digs while Jennifer Dowdy coimbined 17 kills and 19 digs.
Whitman returns to western Oregon next weekend with matches at 7 p.m. Friday at Pacific (Forest Grove) and 5 p.m. Saturday at George Fox (Newberg).