Oct. 22, 2008
Pacific Lutheran, Down 2-0, Rallies to Defeat Loggers
TACOMA - Pacific Lutheran, seemingly on the way to a Northwest Conference volleyball defeat to Puget Sound, rallied from a two-set deficit to stun the No. 15-ranked Loggers in five sets on Wednesday night at Stadium High School.
The No. 19-ranked Lutes won the match 25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-10 for their eighth straight victory in conference play. PLU, now 15-6 overall and 9-2 in the conference, holds a half-game lead over Lewis & Clark (8-2) and a one-game lead over Puget Sound (8-3) in the conference standings.
Puget Sound was able to shut down virtually every Pacific Lutheran option except one, outside hitter Beth Hanna, in the first two sets. Hanna collected 11 total kills in those sets, but the Lutes were unable to get enough balance to prevent the Loggers from taking the victories.
In the first set, the Loggers took an 8-4 lead on a kill by Lindsey Denman, but the Lutes responded with a 5-0 run, four of the points coming during Lauren Poole's serve. UPS regained a 16-13 lead, but after that neither team led by more than two points before the Loggers finally broke a 25-25 tie with kills by Denman and Emma Bryant.
The Lutes played well through much of the second set and eventually built a 19-14 lead on a kill by Erin Bremond, but the Loggers scored the next six points, three on PLU attack errors and two on service aces by Leigh Sumida. Again, the final points were tightly contested with Kris Sumida finally winning the set for the Loggers on a service ace.
After hitting .104 in the first set and .163 in the second set, the Lutes cranked up the offense and rallied for wins in the next two sets to force a deciding fifth. PLU hit .270 in the third set and an impressive .400 in the fourth with 16 kills and just two errors in 35 attempts.
In the third set, Puget Sound started out as if it would wrap up the match in straight sets, building a 7-3 lead. The Lutes stormed back, however, and eventually took their first lead at 9-8 on a kill by Bremond, who would finish the match with a season-high 13 kills. The Lutes would not trail again. When Sarah Beaver served an ace, PLU had its biggest lead at 22-17. Hanna ended the set with a kill, sending the match to a fourth set.
The Lutes rode that momentum in the early going, building a 5-1 lead before the Loggers went on a 13-5 run to take a 14-10 lead. They kept that advantage and went ahead, 23-20, on a kill by Brynn Blickenstaff. PLU's Katlyn Kester responded with a kill that got the Lutes going on a 5-0 run to close out the set. The Loggers committed a hitting error and ball handling error on consecutive points, and Kelsie Moore and Bremond knocked down kills to finish off the set.
That sent the match to the deciding fifth set. Puget Sound committed three consecutive errors as the Lutes took a 3-1 lead, but the Loggers battled back and took a 7-6 advantage on a PLU attack error. That's when the Lutes ran off six straight points to take a 12-7 lead, one they would not relinquish. Bremond, who played her best volleyball of the year in the final three sets, started off the run with a kill, and Sarah Beaver served five straight points, including a kill by Moore and a service ace.
Puget Sound ended that run, but the Lutes closed out the set and match on kills by Bremond, Kester and Hanna. For Hanna, the 2007 Northwest Conference Player of the Year, the match-winning kill was her 25th, her single-match best this season.
Bremond, a freshman middle blocker, finished the match with 13 kills and zero errors in 22 attempts for an incredible .591 attack percentage. Hanna hit .208 with her 25 kills, and Moore came back after a slow start to finish with 12 kills. Beaver finished the match with 53 assists and five kills, and Brenna Archibald led the Lutes with 23 digs. After their slow start, the Lutes rallied to finish the match with a .214 attack percentage.
The Loggers had four players in double figures in kills, led by Blickenstaff with 14 and Denman with 13. Juliette Witous led all players in the match with 25 digs. The Loggers finished the match hitting .184.
- PLU -