From PLU Athletics
NEWBURG, Ore. – With a 3-1 victory over George Fox on Friday night, Pacific Lutheran volleyball clinched their second-consecutive Northwest Conference title and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III regional tournament. The NWC title is PLU’s eighth since the program won its first in 1999.
Entering the weekend, PLU held a one-game lead over Puget Sound in the conference standings. Puget Sound was swept by Pacific in its Friday night matchup, allowing the Lutes to clinch the conference title outright.
The Lutes took the victory over the Bruins 23-25, 25-17, 25-19 and 25-11, improving their record to 13-1, 17-5 overall.
Senior middle blocker Bethany Huston led the Lute attack with 16 kills and a team-leading five blocks. Senior outside hitter Haley Urdahl added 11 kills and led with 16 digs and four service aces. Sophomore outside hitter Lucy Capron tallied 10 kills and 15 digs.
PLU took a quick 4-0 lead to start the first set. George Fox quickly reciprocated with seven of the next eight points to overtake the lead. PLU pulled to a 12-11 score and the set remained tightly contested from there. With the Bruins ahead 23-19, the Lutes pushed to put up four of the next five points to get within one at 23-24. George Fox eventually put it away with the 25-23 set victory.
In the second set, George Fox took the lead 10-6 to get things started. PLU found their momentum shortly after that, accounting for 10 of the next 13 points on their way to a 25-17 victory.
It was anyone’s game in the third set until a 15-15 tie was reached. The Lutes tallied 10 of the final 14 points to secure the set 25-19. With a match victory in sight, PLU stormed into the fourth set, taking 22 of the first 30 points on their way to a final 25-11 score.
The Lutes will close out regular season play on Saturday night as they visit Lewis & Clark for a 7 p.m.matchup.