Pacific Lutheran rode the 12 kills of senior Kelsie Moore to a three-set sweep of the Linfield Wildcats Friday night in Northwest Conference volleyball action in Olson Auditorium. The Lutes (13-3 overall, 5-2 NWC) rolled to their ninth straight victory over the Wildcats (7-9, 2-5 NWC), winning 25-17, 25-19, 25-14.
Moore looked every bit the part of a first-team all-star, recording her dozen kills in 24 swings without an error.
With Moore’s efficiency combining with senior middle blocker Erin Bremond’s 11 kills and a .600 attack percentage, the 23rd-ranked Lutes were simply too much for the 'Cats.
PLU fell behind 2-0 in the first set, but immediately got things straightened out, eventually pulling away from a 4-all tie. PLU took a 12-6 lead before Linfield rallied with six straight points, five on the serving of Kelsey Ludin (Jr., Bozeman, Mont.). Bremond ended that 6-0 run with a kill, and the Lutes pulled away for good.
Linfield came out hot in the opening moments of the second set, taking a 5-0 lead on an ace by Samantha Lau that forced PLU to call time out. Victoria Thompson (Soph., Newberg, Ore.) and Tara Hill both had kills to spearhead the quick start.
The Lutes rallied and eventually tied the set at 8 on an ace by Amber Aguiar. In fact, Aguiar's serve proved crucial as the Lutes scored six straight points, including kills by Bremond and Moore. Linfield rallied to tie the set once more at 11 after Thompson and Leimomi Hookana blocked Bremond at the net, but that was a close at the visitors would get.
PLU broke away from a 17-16 advantage on consecutive kills by Moore, and it finally wrapped up the second set when Bremond and Chelsea Nelson drove down kills.
For the third set in a row, Linfield took the early lead at 3-0, but once again the Lutes powered ahead on a kill by Samantha North to lead 7-6. Holding a 13-12 lead, PLU closed out the match by scoring 12 of the final 14 points, with five of the points coming on Blair Bjorkman's serve.
For the Wildcats, Kailana Ritte-Camara (Soph., Molokai, Hawaii) led the way with eight kills, while Lau contributed 16 digs and Audrey Frazier (Soph., Albany, Ore.) 17 assists. The 'Cats managed to hit just .066 against PLU's strong defense.
With Moore and Bremond leading the way, the Lutes hit .320 as a team, including a convincing .368 mark in the third set. North finished with 33 assists, Bjorkman provided the winners with 19 digs, and Aguiar had three service aces. The Lutes recorded 11 team blocks, including five block assists by both Bremond and Bethany Huston.
COMING UP: Linfield heads to George Fox Saturday night before hosting Willamette on Wednesday at Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
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