McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Doing their best impression of a brick wall, the 22nd-ranked Pacific Lutheran Lutes proved nearly impenetrable with 15 blocks Friday night at Ted Wilson Gymanasium, rolling to a three-set Northwest Conference sweep of the Linfield Wildcats.
The scores were 25-9, 25-16, 25-17.
The visiting Lutes (20-5, 12-3 NWC) were running on all cylinders, particularly in the second set when they hit .257.
In contrast, Linfield was forced into 34 attack errors, committed eight service errors, and was whistled for four ball-handling errors.
The Lutes asserted themselves right from the get-go, bolting to leads of 14-3 and 22-7 in the match’s opening frame. PLU piled up eight team blocks in the set, including four assists each from Missy DeWalt and Bethany Huston. Linfield was its own worst enemy, committing 16 kills to the PLU’s one. Kelsie Moore led the way on the offensive end, totaling three kills and giving the visitors a big push early in the contest.
PLU resumed its dominance in the second set, jumping in front 9-3 on its way to a 25-16 victory. Kelsey Pacolt pounded three kills in the set while Huston and Samantha North each had a hand in four blocks. Samantha Lau dug five balls for Linfield and Leimomi Hookano had a pair of kills. The Lutes hit a crisp .257 while the Wildcats’ efficiency hovered just above water at .026.
Linfield kept things closer in the third set, trailing 15-11 midway through. Huston pounded three kills in the set and the Lutes again forced the Wildcats into more errors (9) than kills (7).
Pacolt paced PLU, finishing with a match-high seven kills, Erin Bremond totaled a match-best seven block assists. North, the Lutes’ setter, chipped in with six blocks assists and 24 assists. Blair Bjorkman piled up 22 digs.
Kailana Ritte-Camara (Sr., Molokai, Hawaii) picked up five kills and five digs for the Wildcats, which struggled on the way to a -.096 attack percentage for the match. Lau had 19 digs and three assists. Setter Audrey Frazier passed out a dozen assists.
Linfield saw its season record dip to 10-14 overall, 5-10 in the NWC.
COMING UP: Linfield wraps up the 2011 season Saturday night at home against George Fox. Three seniors – Lau, Kelsey Franklin and Tara Hill, will be saluted in special Senior Night ceremonies prior to the match.