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Lutes Make It Five Straight Wins in Conference Action

Bethany Huston (18)

FOREST GROVE, Ore. - Bethany Huston and Allison Wood both finished with 10 kills as Pacific Lutheran blitzed the Pacific Boxers, 25-19, 25-18, 25-14 in a Northwest Conference volleyball match played Friday night at Stoller Center.

The victory was PLU's fifth straight to open the conference season and improves the team's overall record to 11-2. It also came against a Pacific team that came into the match sitting in third place in the standings with a 4-1 record after four consecutive victories.

In the opening set, the Lutes rallied from a 9-8 deficit with five straight points, and they were never headed after that. They took an 18-12 lead on a kill by Amy Wooten, and Kacey Hartman's service ace made it 23-14 before Pacific scored four straight points. That was a temporary reprieve, however, as Haley Urdahl scored PLU's final two points with kills to wrap up the first set.

The Lutes came out hot in the second set, scoring the first five points, including four on Samantha North's serve. Pacific was able to pull within two points at 11-9, but two kills by Huston and two consecutive service aces by Amber Aguiar helped the Lutes rebuild a comfortable lead at 21-13. Kelsey Pacolt's kill ended the second set and giving the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break.

The Boxers opened the third set with a kill, but the Lutes scored the next three points and never trailed again. PLU built a double-digit lead at 20-10 on a kill by Wood, and the junior outside hitter finished the set and match with a kill to end it.

Pacific Lutheran finished the match with a .286 attack percentage and 11 aces, including three by Aguiar and two apiece by Hartman, North and Blair Bjorkman. Wood hit .400 for the match and Huston finished with 10 kills and no errors in 16 attempts for a .625 attack percentage. Huston, one of the national leaders in blocks, added four block assists to her season total. North contributed 31 assists to the PLU attack.

After hitting a solid .357 in the second set, the Boxers had a -.030 percentage in the final set and finished at .130 overall.

PLU, ranked No. 18 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Top 25, will play their fourth straight conference road match in Oregon on Saturday night when it faces Willamette in Salem.

- PLU -