PARKLAND - Brianne Vincent and Haley Urdahl paced the offense and the Pacific Lutheran defense recorded 98 digs and 10 blocks as the Lutes defeated visiting Linfield, 26-28, 25-17, 25-9, 25-22, in a Northwest Conference volleyball match played Friday night in Olson Auditorium.
The Lutes, ranked No. 16 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll, improved to 16-3 overall and maintained their two-game lead over both Puget Sound and Pacific in the conference standings. With the loss, Linfield is now 8-11 overall and 3-8 in the conference.
Vincent, a senior reserve setter, had to step into a starting role when 2011 AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year Samantha North went down with a knee injury during warmups. There was no immediate work on North's condition, but Vincent stepped in and played a pivotal role in the Lutes' victory. She finished the match with 37 assists and also had two solo blocks and five block assists.
Urdahl, a junior outside hitter, had a career-high 18 kills and finished with a .271 attack percentage to lead PLU in those two categories. Amy Wooten had nine kills and Allison Wood added eight more for the Lutes.
The defense was particularly impressive in limiting the Wildcats to a -.026 attack percentage for the entire match. Bethany Huston, Vincent and Wooten were particularly tough at the net, while Blair Bjorkman and Amber Aguiar had 28 and 20 digs, respectively.
Victoria Thompson led the Wildcats with eight kills and she also had three solo blocks and two block assists. Three other Linfield players - Shayli Coppock, Kailana Ritte-Camara and Leimomi Hookana - all had seven kills. Courtney Uyeda led all players with 28 digs and Audrey Frazier finished with 28 assists for the 'Cats.
PLU returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday when it hosts the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in another conference contest.
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