Friday, October 12, 2012

Volleyball team cruising: ranked no. 14 in country

By Nathan Shoup, Sports Editor

The volleyball team is first place in the Northwest Conference. But that’s no surprise. The Lutes haven’t finished lower than second place in the NWC since 2005, including four conference championships.

Sophomore setter Samantha North wins a battle at the net during Friday’s 3-0 blowout over George Fox. North finished with three block assists as well as 35 assists. Photo by Jesse Major.

Sitting in first place, the Lutes made quick work of the visiting George Fox Bruins Friday night, sweeping aside the visitors in straight sets, 25-17, 25-23, 25-27.

The decisive victory improved the Lutes record to 14-2, 8-0 and dropped the fourth-place Bruins to 7-8, 5-3.
The game came two nights after the Lutes’ biggest win of the season, defeating the then no. 10 Puget Sound Loggers in straight sets in Puget Sound’s gym.

A let down was not in the works however.

“We just prepared for George Fox like they were any other opponent, not underestimating them ,” senior outside hitter Kelsey Pacolt said.

Junior outside hitter Haley Urdahl led the Lutes with 11 kills. Fellow junior outside hitter Allison Wood and junior Bethany Huston each added 10 kills of their own.

All-American sophomore setter Samantha North amassed 35 assists.

Following its 2-0 week highlighted by Wednesday’s statement victory over Puget Sound, the Lutes jumped from no. 17 in the country to no. 14.

“Being no. 14 in the nation is just a bonus to how well we have been doing,” Pacolt said.

The Lutes have dropped only two sets in their eight matches this season.

PLU continues its run for its fifth conference crown in seven years this weekend when the team travels to the east side of the state.

The Lutes play Whitworth tonight at 7 p.m. and Whitman tomorrow, Saturday Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. before playing their next six games within the confines of Olson Auditorium.