Whitman's volleyball team shakes off losses, downs Bruins

The Missionary volleyball team knocks off the Bruins in four sets Saturday night.

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NEWBERG, Ore. - Shedding weeks of frustration, the Whitman College volleyball team knocked off George Fox in four sets Saturday evening in Newberg, Ore.

The Missionaries, plagued this season by injuries and a handful of five-set losses, snapped a long losing streak with a 17-25, 25-13, 25-14, 25-20 victory over the Bruins.

Jillian Davis, one of the walking wounded, and first-year teammate Samantha Cahill paced the Whitman offense with 10 kills apiece.

Whitman, now 1-9 in the NWC and 2-14 overall, also got a strong game in the middle from Olivia Nielson, who hit .471 with nine kills and five block assists.

First-year libero Annie Sing continued to shine in the back row, popping up a match-high 29 digs. Davis added 16 digs while Becca Gotz had nine.

Setter Rachel Cline handed out 28 assists in three games and made six of Whitman's 18 block assists.

George Fox, now 2-7 in the NWC and 7-12 on the season, used an 11-1 run - erasing a 14-12 Whitman lead - to take the first game.

Ahead 10-6 in the second set, Whitman pulled away on a 10-2 spree powered by three Cahill kills. Cline's kill finished the game to even the score at 1-1.

The Missionaries again forged a 10-6 advantage to start game three and then seized command by taking eight of the next nine points. Davis sparked the run with two kills, a service ace and block at the net with Nielson.

Megan Bafus, another of Whitman's first-year players, slammed two of her seven kills during that stretch as well.

Set four was more of a battle, but Rachel Shober drilled her only kill of the night to knot the score at 16-all, and Whitman took off from there, tacking on six more points for a 22-16 lead.

Nielson had a kill and block (with Cline) during that final surge while Sing served an ace. Whitman nailed down the last two points on two more Nielson kills.

Erin Campbell paced George Fox with 17 kills and 17 digs.

Whitman returns home next weekend to host Willamette at 7 p.m. Friday and Linfield at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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