By Nick Barene, Staff Writer
Losing the first game only set a fire underneath the Pacific Lutheran University women’s volleyball team last Friday night against George Fox. After dropping the first set 25-19, the Lutes rattled off victories in the next three sets en route to their ninth consecutive win.
The Bruins struck quickly in the first set, hitting the ball hard and playing aggressively. They took the lead from the start and didn’t let up, winning the set 25-19.
In the second set, the Lutes took the lead early, but the Bruins wouldn’t go down easily. The two teams exchanged the lead several times with the Lutes holding a slim 23-22 lead late in the set. Outside hitter Lucy Capron, a sophomore, tallied two consecutive kills to win the set for the Lutes.
The Lutes led from the first serve in the third set. Solid hitting across the board led to PLU winning 25-17. First-year player Taylor Komagome was a force coming off the bench. The defensive specialist tallied two service aces and 17 digs.
“She [Komagome] is so solid on defense,” head coach Kevin Aoki said. “I’ve never had a player who can hit the floor that fast.”
The pace of the Lute hitting proved too much for George Fox to handle. In the final set, the Lutes finished off the Bruins in decisive fashion with a crushing 25-13 victory. The win was a sign of the Lutes’ continued dominance over George Fox, as the Lutes have won 23 of the last 24 contests against the Bruins.
The Lutes remain undefeated in Northwest Conference matches, and sit atop the league table.
“There’s always a target on your back when you’re leading the league,” Amy Wooten, a junior, said. “We feel like there is always room for improvement, and we don’t want to get complacent.”
Several Lutes rank among the nation’s top specialists. Setter Samantha North, a junior, averages 9.8 assists per set, which is 31st in the nation. Libero Amber Aguiar, also a junior, ranks sixth in the nation in digs per set (6.7). As a team, the Lutes are ranked 10th in the country with 19.1 digs per set.