Cats drop conference debut to top contenders

Greg Larson

For the Review

Brianne Ries

Assistant editor

   Last weekend, the Wildcats’ volleyball team knew  great challenges lay ahead. Their weekend included matches against No. 16 Pacific Lutheran University, followed by the No. 9 University of Puget Sound.
   On Sept. 19, the Cats lost their first match of the Northwest Conference to the defending NWC champions, PLU, who cruised to a blistering seven-point lead against the Wildcats.
   Linfield seemed almost tranquilized but shook off the point difference, fighting and clawing its way back into the match, but inevitably lost 29-27.
   During the second match, senior outside hitter Kelsey French led Linfield on a scoring surge to bring the score to 24-22.
   However, the Lutes came back, scoring two consecutive points to tie the match and went on to take
the win.
   The Wildcats had several scoring surges led by freshman outside hitter Samantha Lau, who racked up
12 kills.
   Senior defensive specialist Rachel Rahn, who had a team-leading 21 digs, but the LutesÕ consistency was the determining factor.
   Lau is leading the team with 56 kills this season.
   The Lutes went on to win the match, dropping Linfield to 0-1 in the NWC.
   “We didn’ play as well of a match,” head coach Shane Kimura said. “We had our chances. [We] just made more mistakes than we should have.”
  Linfield faced off against the UPS powerhouse Sept. 20 and showed great tenacity as everyone expected a delivery of defeat
from UPS.
   Freshman outside hitter Tara Hill led Linfield to a 22-19 lead, but the Loggers earned six straight points to steal the match.
   The second set was hard-fought, but UPS prevailed and scored 17 quick points to the ÕCats five to put them away in the third.
   “Last weekend, we  played two top-20 teams, national leagues, [and] it was a tough back-to-back match for us,” Kimura said.
   Returning to defend their home court this weekend, Kimura and the Cats face a tough game against Lewis & Clark College, which is currently standing at 2-0 in the NWC.
   “We’ve got to cut down on some mistakes for this weekend and hopefully improve a little bit from last weekend,” Kimura said.
   The Wildcats are hungry for their first conference victory and will attempt to lock it up against Lewis & Clark tonight in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium
at 7 p.m.
Following that game, they square off against Willamette University at home at 7 p.m on Sept. 27.

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