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George Fox University sports round-up: Volleyball team finishes season strong

PHOTO COURTESY OF GFU - Sophomore running back Ethan Kassebaum ran for 340 yards and four touchdowns this season for the Bruins.

Following three consecutive victories over Pacific University, Willamette and Lewis & Clark, the George Fox University football team had a road date with rival Linfield to finish off its season. The Bruins ultimately fell to the No. 19-ranked Wildcats, 24-17, but finished 5-5 on the season and 4-3 in the Northwest Conference.

Linfield got on the board first on Saturday, scoring midway through the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown run from Artie Johnson. With about seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Wildcats tacked on a 34-yard field goal from Andrew Starkel to make it 10-0.

GFU got on the board with a field goal of its own from Ethan Hoffman. The 22-yard try made it 10-3 with less than five minutes remaining in the first half.

The teams proceeded to exchange touchdowns in the half's final minutes.

With 1:31 to go until the break, Linfield reached the end zone on a 31-yard pass from Wyatt Smith to Keegan Weiss, giving the Wildcats a 17-3 advantage. With 11 seconds left in the half, GFU responded with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jaden Sheffey to Kenny May, bringing the game to its halftime score of 17-10 in favor of Linfield.

Neither team scored in a stalemate third quarter before Linfield extended its lead once more in the fourth. The Wildcats went up 24-10 on a three-yard pass from Wyatt Smith to Colton Smith, leaving an uphill battle for the Bruins with 7:31 to go.

GFU managed a touchdown with 58 seconds remaining as Haiden Schaan scored on the two-yard run. It was all for naught, however, as the Wildcats prevailed.

It was an up-and-down season for the Bruins, but a relatively positive finish to conference play allowed them to finish tied for fourth in the NWC with Pacific. There will be no postseason play for GFU, so they look forward to hitting the field again next fall.

Volleyball finishes season on a high note

The GFU volleyball team won nine of its final 10 games to end the season, a strong finish for the team despite not securing a postseason berth. The Bruins finished 13-12. 10-6 in the Northwest Conference and beat Whitman in three sets on their senior night Nov. 9.

Prior to that game, the Bruins lost to Whitworth in five sets on Nov. 8. The preceding eight games were all victories beginning on Oct. 11.

GFU beat Whitman and Whitworth on the road Oct. 11 and 12, handled Pacific on the road Oct. 18 before a home win over Linfield on Oct. 19, beat Pacific Lutheran at their place on Oct. 25 and won a pair of home games over Willamette and Lewis & Clark on Oct. 26 and 30.

It was a huge response from a Bruin team that started conference play at 1-5, with its only victory in that stretch coming over Linfield. GFU will now head into the offseason and begin training for 2020. Just one senior – libero Emily Carson – is graduating from this year's squad.

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