This Week in LBCC Athletics: Roadrunners Survive on Dig Pink Night

Linn-Benton’s women’s volleyball team continued their winning streak last week, emerging victorious in their matchups against Clackamas and Chemeketa to reach a 25-0 record on the season. 

The Beaks took on 10-8 Clackamas at home on October 13 on the team’s annual “Dig Pink Night,” where the proceeds from ticket sales and donations went towards funding breast cancer research. The Roadrunners donned their pink jerseys for the event and those in attendance were given free shirts. Before the first set, all those in the crowd who had been affected by breast cancer were asked to stand, after which they were each gifted with a rose by a member of the LBCC volleyball team. 

Fans were treated to a full five sets, with the home team surviving a 3-2 thriller against the Cougars. It’s only the second time this season that Linn-Benton has been taken to five sets in a match. 

Linn-Benton’s last volleyball game had been on October 4, and the team looked rusty early on. Clackamas jumped out to a 7-1 lead at the start of the first set, managing to win 25-21 despite a late comeback attempt by the Beaks. It was the first set Linn-Benton has dropped in league play all year. 

In the second and third sets, the Roadrunners gave the home crowd something to cheer about, winning both, each with a final score of 25-15. They tried to close out the win in a nail-biting fourth set, which featured four lead changes and a controversial double-hit call on LBCC’s Grace Boeder on what would’ve been the match-sealing kill. Instead, the Cougars hung on to win 26-24, forcing a fifth set. 

The energy on the Cougars’ bench was palpable heading into the final set, but Linn-Benton pulled away late, winning 15-12 to take the match. Having survived the Cougars’ upset bid, the Roadrunners advanced to 24-0 on the season. 

Freshman Brooke Willard led the Beaks with 12 kills and 15 points in the match, helped out by sophomore Grace Luttrell’s nine kills and 11.5 points and Boeder’s eight kills and 10 points.

The Roadrunners had a quick turnaround following their hard-fought win on Friday, defending their winning streak against 6-16 Chemeketa less than 24 hours later. At home on October 14, the Beaks returned to their dominant ways, winning the match’s three sets with scores of 25-13, 25-19, and 25-18, respectively. 

Once again, Willard and Boeder led LBCC statistically, with the former recording 11 kills and 14 points, and the latter with nine kills and 11.5 points. Freshman Maddy Hellem wasn’t far behind, recording eight kills and 9.5 points. 

After Friday and Saturday’s matches, the Roadrunners advance to 25-0 on the season with a 10-0 conference record. Their current winning streak now sits at 44. 

It was a great week for LBCC athletics on not just a team level, but also an individual one. On October 11, Brooke Willard was named the offensive player of the previous week following her performance in the Roadrunners’ 3-0 sweep over Clark on October 4. Willard recorded 13 kills, 11 digs, two block assists, an assist, and an ace in the win. 

Linn-Benton’s head volleyball coach Jayme Frazier was also honored last week on the NWAC conference website, which praised her for reaching 700 career wins as a coach, a milestone she reached following a 3-0 victory over Rogue in September. Frazier has built quite the legacy at Linn-Benton, having led the Beaks to 17 NWAC Championship Tournament appearances since 2000. In the 2022 season, Frazier won Baden Coach of the Year after coaching her team to a NWAC Championship victory, the first in program history. 

This week, the Roadrunners play at home against Mt. Hood Community College on October 18 before traveling to play Umpqua on October 20. Both matches are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.