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PACIFIC LUTHERAN 3, GEORGE FOX 0: No. 17 Lutes Blank Bruins behind Trio of Killers
PARKLAND, Wash. – Led by a trio of hitters with double figures in kills, the 17th-ranked Pacific Lutheran University Lutes remained unbeaten in Northwest Conference play with a 3-0 win (25-17, 25-23, 25-17) over the visiting George Fox University Bruins in women’s volleyball action Friday night here at the Olson Auditorium.
With the win, their eighth in a row, the Lutes improved to 14-2 overall and 8-0 in conference play. The Bruins, who entered the match tied for third in the league, slipped to 6-8 overall and 4-3 in the NWC.
George Fox jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set behind kills from Tiffany Burk, Erin Campbell, and Cassie Irwin and a solo block by Burk. A pair of winners by Haley Urdahl and one by Kelsey Pacolt knotted the score, and there were ties at 6-6 and 7-7 before the Lutes took the lead for good with four unanswered points. The Bruins were within three at 19-16 following a service ace by Chelsea Wilson, but PLU went on a 6-1 run and closed out the set on a block by Samantha North and Amy Wooten.
Kills by North and Urdahl and an ace by North gave PLU a 3-1 lead at the start of the second set, and the Lutes never trailed again, though they could never shake the persistent Bruins. A kill by Urdahl gave PLU its largest lead at 11-5, but the Bruins rallied to tie it three times, at 16-16 on a kill by Campbell, at 17-17 on a PLU service error, and at 19-19 on an ace by Kylee Adderson. A service error on the next point, however, enabled the Lutes to take the lead for good, and Pacolt ended the two-point win with a kill.
Winners by Burk and Lucy Capron and two PLU attack errors put George Fox in front 4-2 early in the third set, but the Lutes erupted for a 12-2 run to take control with a 14-6 advantage. Twice the Bruins climbed within three, the last at 18-15 on a kill by Irwin, but Allison Wood with three kills led a 7-2 charge by the Lutes to the end to clinch the sweep for the home team.
Capron led the Bruins with eight kills and Campbell had seven, while Burk collected six kills with a .429 hitting percentage and contributed four blocks, three solo, out of the team’s total of six. Payton Shrum handed out 24 assists. On defense, Campbell made 18 digs, Wilson 13, and Capron 11. The Bruins were held to a .095 hitting percentage (28-17-116) in the match.
Urdahl with 11 kills and Wood and Bethany Huston with 10 each led the Lutes to a .212 hitting mark (46-18-132) for the game, while North distributed 35 kills. Blair Bjorkman made 20 digs and Wood added 18. The Lutes had five team blocks, with North and Wooten assisting on three each.
NEXT: George Fox returns home for its sixth home match in the last seven against Willamette University Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ... Pacific Lutheran is off until next Friday, when the Lutes will visit Whitworth University for a 7:00 p.m. match.