Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -The Pacific Lutheran University volleyball team rebounded from a tough outing the day before, pounding 11th-ranked and host California Lutheran University 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-17) before closing Saturday with a 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-13) win over Pomona-Pitzer Colleges to wrap up the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational.
"What a great way to end the weekend with straight set victories over 11th-ranked Cal Lutheran and Pomona-Pitzer," said Head Coach Kevin Aoki. "The team showed so much grit after yesterday's tough losses and we look forward to starting our next weekend at home to open Northwest Conference play."
PLU (6-2) never trailed in the opening set against the host and 11th-ranked Regals (4-4), jumping to an early 12-5 lead on a Lauren Wilson kill. Cal Lu battled back, tying the game at 22 but a Mackenzie Harris kill followed by a CLU attack error and a Kiana Calles service ace, gave the Lutes the 25-22 win.
Eight of the first nine points of set two belonged to PLU and the Lutes never looked back to net the 25-21 set win. PLU tallied 15 of the final 22 points of the third set, securing the sweep after claiming te 25-17 set win.
Harris led the Lutes with 10 kills while Calles had a match-high 37 assists along with 10 digs, five aces, and five blocks. Caylie Shiramizu collected 15 digs while Gabrielle Alley and Julia Hutchison added 11 and 10, respectively.
Against Pomona-Pitzer, PLU grabbed seven of the first nine points in the opening set to cruise to the 25-13 win. The Sagehens (1-7) had the Lutes against the ropes in the second set, owning a 24-23 advantage but a Pomona-Pitzer attack error followed by consecutive kills from Chloe Epker gave the Lutes the 26-24 win. Pacific Lutheran built a 10-3 lead in the third set and never looked back, winning 25-13 to cement the sweep.
Epker paced the Lutes' attack with 15 kills while Calles and Shiramizu again led the team in assists and digs. Calles tallied 30 assists in the three-set win while Shiramizu tallied 13 digs.
Pacific Lutheran is back on the court on Friday night, hosting defending NWC Champion Whitworth University at 7 p.m. inside Olson Gymnasium.