Lutes Sweep Wisconsin-Stout in Volleyball Opener
TACOMA - Pacific Lutheran opened its 2011 volleyball season on Friday with a convincing 25-22, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Wisconsin-Stout at the Puget Sound Volleyball Tournament.
The Lutes hit .261 in the match, including .357 in the third set, to kick off the 2011 campaign in fine fashion. A pair of sophomores, middle blocker Bethany Huston and outside hitter Allison Wood, led the Lutes with eight kills apiece. Wood got all of her kills in the third set, and they came on just nine attack attempts.
Frosh setter Samantha North ran the show for 2 1/2 sets and compiled 36 assists. Frosh outside hitter Chelsea Nelson had seven kills and senior middle Erin Bremond added six kills to the PLU attack.
Stout took a 17-15 lead in the opening set on a kill by Kate Mikutowski, but the Lutes responded with consecutive kills from Missy DeWalt, Bremond and Kelsie Moore to take a lead that they would not lose. North's kill finished off the first set. At that point, the Gig Harbor High product already had 14 assists.
PLU never trailed in the second set, and there was only one tie, that coming at 1-1 after Mikutowski's kill. The Lutes slowly added to their lead, eventually taking a 24-14 advantage on Nelson's kill before Stout managed a mini-rally to make it 24-18. Nelson finished it with another kill.
The third set was much like the second, though Stout did take an early 6-5 lead on a PLU attack error. That was the last time that the Wisconsin team led, however, as Wood cranked out kill after kill for the Lutes. PLU led by as many eight on two occasions, the second time at 20-12 on a finish by Wood.
The Lutes return to Puget Sound Volleyball Tournament action at 5 p.m. today when they play Northwest Conference foe Whitworth. The Pirates are the defending NWC champion. Tomorrow, PLU plays UC Santa Cruz at 1 p.m. and tournament host Puget Sound at 5 p.m.
- PLU -