By John Tveter, Sports Writer
The Lutes hosted the visiting Lewis & Clark Pioneers Saturday in front of a boisterous crowd in Olson Auditorium in the athletics nightcap for a busy Homecoming Saturday.
After starting the match slowly against George Fox Friday night, the Lutes were looking to get off to a quicker start against Lewis & Clark. The Lutes rolled to a 3-0 win against the Pioneers.
“Our focus before the game was to start quickly,” junior Amy Wooten said. “We wanted to value tough serves because a good serve makes the entire defense’s job easier.”
Haley Urdahl, a senior, began the match serving for the Lutes, and she set the tone quickly for the match by peppering the Pioneers with pinpoint serves. The Pioneers had difficulty returning Urdahl’s serves, as the outside hitter finished with six aces in the match.
Urdahl helped the Lutes jump out to a 10-0 lead with a couple of unhittable serves in the first set. The Lutes never looked back and cruised to a 25-11 win in the first set.
The Lutes’ first set momentum continued throughout the rest of the match. The Lutes went on to win the second game 25-13, and the third 25-18.
The third set also featured appearances from several of the Lutes bench players, something that both the starters and reserves enjoy.
“Tonight was really the first time this season that our entire bench got into the game,” Wooten said. “Our reserves push the starters every day in practice, and that helps us a lot. Knowing that they are always there, pushing us to get better keeps the starters working hard and not taking playing time for granted.”
Michaela Edgers, Ariana Judson, Kacey Hartman, Becca Holtgeerts and Lauren McClung were the substitutes who had a chance to show head coach Kevin Aoki how they have improved over the course of the season. Edgers, a 6’4” sophomore, led the reserves with two kills.
The Lutes, who stand at 12-4 (8-0), have now concluded the first round of conference play. They have played and beaten every Northwest Conference school once.
Pacific Lutheran University will return to action this weekend as they head south to Oregon to play Pacific on Oct. 18 and Linfield on Oct. 19. Both game times are set for 7 p.m. ◼︎