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October 22, 2011

Lutes Spread the Wealth, Beat George Fox in Three

PARKLAND - Pacific Lutheran spread the wealth on both offense and defense, getting solid play throughout the lineup in beating visiting George Fox, 25-15, 25-13, 25-19, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match played Saturday night in Olson Auditorium.

With the victory, the 23rd-ranked Lutes improved their overall record to 17-4 and their Northwest Conference mark to 9-3. George Fox is now 7-14 overall and 2-10 in the NWC.

Kelsie Moore and Bethany Huston both had nine kills, Erin Bremond added eight and Amy Wooten finished with five as the Lutes hit .200 in the match. Samantha North had 30 assists and the Lutes also had success serving with 10 aces, including four by Blair Bjorkman and three by Moore.

Defensively, Bjorkman led the back row with 20 digs, but it was the continued outstanding blocking that limited George Fox to a .020 attack percentage. PLU finished with 9.0 team blocks, led by Bremond with five block assists and Huston with one solo block and three block assists. Wooten had four block assists and Kelsey Pacolt added three blocks assists as the Lutes repeatedly stuffed the Bruins at the net.

Erin Campbell, an outside hitter from nearby Covington, led George Fox and all players with 10 kills, and she also contributed nine digs. Mackenzie Teigen led the visitors with 10 assists and 11 digs, while Chelsea Wilson had nine assists and 10 digs. The Bruins had 5.0 blocks, including three block assists from Kylee Adderson.

Pacific Lutheran carried the momentum from Wednesday's conference win at nationally ranked Puget Sound into the first set of tonight's match, hitting .345 and outscoring the Bruins 15-6 down the stretch to win the set by a 25-15 score.

Stephanie Kerr's kill pulled the Bruins into a 4-4 tie, and Campbell later added a kill that whittled PLU's lead to 10-9. The Lutes ran off four straight points, the last one on a double block by Huston and Pacolt, to regain the momentum, and they cruised in from there. Kills by Moore, Bremond and Huston closed out the set.

In the second set, the Lutes raced to a 5-0 lead, only to see the Bruins rally with six straight points, five on Betsy Wilhelm's serve, before PLU called a timeout. Two of the points came on George Fox combo blocks, the first between Kerr and Tiffany Burk and the second between Burk and Campbell.

A George Fox attack error following the timeout tied the score, Moore followed with a kill, and Bremond joined Wooten on a block to give the momentum back to the home team. The Bruins cut their deficit to 10-8 on Campbell's kill, but they never got closer than that. PLU's final five points featured a pair of aces by Bjorkman and three kills by Bremond, with the last of those kills ending the set at 25-13.

George Fox took an early lead in the final set, eventually surging ahead 7-3 on Adderson's kill. A service error that followed stopped the momentum, and PLU soon had the lead at 9-8 on back-to-back aces by Moore. The Lutes stayed on top the rest of the way, though the Bruins did cut their deficit to 16-15 on Wilson's service ace.

PLU pulled away after that and finished the set at 25-19, and match, when Wooten and Huston combined on a block.

Pacific Lutheran plays its final non-conference match of the season at 7 p.m. next Tuesday when it travels to Lacey to face Saint Martin's.

- PLU -