Bremond, Lutes Power Past Willamette
Erin Bremond powered down 11 kills Friday night to lead Pacific Lutheran to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-16 win over the visiting Willamette Bearcats in the Lutes' Northwest Conference volleyball opener in Olson Auditorium.
Pacific Lutheran, ranked No. 20 in Division III volleyball, improved its overall record to 8-1, while the Bearcats fell to 4-7 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Bremond, a senior middle blocker from Mill Creek, had nine of her kills in the first two sets as the Lutes held off challenges from the Bearcats. She ended the match with a .350 attack percentage, helping PLU to an overall attack mark of .222, and she also chipped in with three block assists.
Samantha North, a frosh setter from Gig Harbor, had 35 assists and three kills, while Bethany Huston, a sophomore middle from Kennewick, had nine kills and three total blocks. Kelsie Moore, a senior outside hitter from Oregon City, Ore., had nine kills, 10 digs and two service aces, while Blair Bjorkman, a junior libero from Puyallup, led the Lutes with 13 digs.
Carly Hargrave had nine of her team-high 10 kills in the first two sets for the Bearcats, while Emily Compton finished with 27 assists. Kathy Lee Glenn led all players with 14 digs.
PLU had solid early leads in the first two sets, only to see Willamette fight back into both.
In the opener, PLU led 13-8 before the Bearcats clawed back into it, tying the set at 14-14 on a Lutes attack error. The teams battled on even terms before the hosts finally broke away from a 20-20 tie, eventually winning on a Huston kill.
The Lutes led 9-2 in the second set, highlighted by a pair of kills each from Huston and Missy DeWalt, but again Willamette rallied, eventually tying it at 18-18 on a kill by Kathrin Miracle. PLU then scored four consecutive points, with Bremond getting two kills, and finally put it away on Chelsea Nelson's kill.
Willamette actually took the early lead in the third set, building a 6-4 advantage on the strength of three Madisyn Leenstra kills. But the Lutes ran off five straight points and continued to pull away before eventually settling for the nine-point win.
PLU returns to conference action at 7 p.m. Saturday when it hosts the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in Olson Auditorium.
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