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Northwest 3, Evergreen 2

August 24, 2001

Olympia, WA - What a way to make a lasting impression in a new environment. The Evergreen State College opened up its first-ever women's volleyball season with a marathon match against Northwest College, dropping a Cascade Conference heartbreaker in five sets - 24-30, 31-29, 32-34, 30-28, 15-12 in the CRC Gymnasium.

The Geoducks (0-1, 0-1) opened up the fifth-set with a 7-1 run, but a furious rally from the squad from Kirkland, Wash., evened things up at 11-11. A Kelly Clarke smash gave Northwest their first lead, and true freshman Kelly Hopkins ended the match with a net service ace, giving first-year head coach Shaun Kupferberg the win.

New international volleyball rules definitely came into play tonight, as rally-scoring made quickened the pace of the game. Instead of needing to score on side-outs, a point is scored on every serve. Also, serves that touch the net and finish on the opponents side are considered a live ball. If the game was played last season, the Hopkins service ace to finish the contest would have been an error.

Evergreen wowed its home crowd by winning the first set, and led 29-28 in the second. However, Clarke helped the Eagles (1-0, 1-0) run off the final three points with two of her 15 kills.

Junior middle blocker Allison Fryer led Northwest with 21 kills, with setter Kyle Petrick recording a game-high 55 assists.

"This was truly an exciting game," said Evergreen head coach Bill Lash. "Our team played their hearts out tonight, we just made too many mistakes down the stretch."

Sophomore Anna Murray (Olympia, WA/ Saint Martin's) had a great all-around game for the Geoducks. The transfer led Evergreen with 18 kills, 18 digs, along with five service aces and two solo blocks.

True freshman setter Hanna Plunk (Broomfield, CO / Broomfield HS) recorded 39 assists, while junior Courtney Brandon (Pomeroy, WA / Walla Walla CC) added 14 kills.

The Geoducks return to action next Friday with a pair of games in Portland, Ore. Evergreen squares off in a conference battle with Concordia, ranked No. 8 in the NAIA preseason poll, along with a non-conference match-up with No. 26 ranked Westmont of California.