Oregon Tech Starts Strong, Drops Final 3 Sets
Oregon Tech senior Jennifer Saltenberger finished with 9 kills to go with a pair of solo blocks tonight at Northwest. (photo by Kelly Caleb)
KIRKLAND, Wash. – Oregon Tech opened strong, managing to take the opening set over Northwest University, but the Eagles would cruise through the next three to shoot down the Owls 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-20) tonight in Cascade Conference volleyball action.
Kristen Walters finished with a team-high 11 kills, followed by Jennifer Saltenberger with 9. Saltenberger would add 2 solo blocks while assisting on two others with setter Kayleigh Whelchel gathering 33 assists for Tech. Marlee Smith and Kara Young would finish with 7 kills apiece, while libero Marie Baumann recorded 30 digs in the loss. Smith and Young would tally 10 and 9 digs respectively.
Oregon Tech (9-11, 1-6) came out fast in the first set, and after an 8-8 tie, reeled off five points to NU’s one to take a 13-9 lead. A Marlee Smith kill would grow the Owls’ lead to 19-12, but Northwest would close it to 4 points, 20-16, after a Tech error. Walters would come back with a kill and NU would add on a miscue and Tech would lead 22-16 on the way to a 25-20 opening set win.
The Eagles got going in the second set breaking a 4-4 tie and outscoring the Owls 8-3 to take a 12-7 lead. An Olivia VanDlac service ace would make it 19-15 as the Eagles would outscore Oregon Tech 6-4 to close out the set.
Set three would be close until NU’s Breanna Covey’s kills would break the tie and begin a 13-3 run. NU would score two more kills to make it 24-13 and after a Kristen Walters kill, Tech would commit an error to end the set.
It looked as though Northwest would have an easy time of the fourth and final set taking an 18-13 lead, but not to be counted out, the Owls battled back and a kill by OIT’s Jen Saltenberger and a Krista Galloway service ace, along with a NU attack error, the Owls found life trailing by just two points, 19-21. Back-to-back Oregon Tech attack errors, however, would increase NU’s lead to 23-19. Tech made it 23-20, but an NU kill and Owl miscue gave NU the victory.
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