By Nick Barene, Sports Writer

Whitman proved to be a pesky opponent for the Lutes volleyball team last Friday night. The visiting Missionaries played tough, and the game featured many long rallies and spectacular digs. The Lutes came out on top in the end, however, winning by a score of 3-1.

The first set was a dominant performance by the Lutes, who took the set 25-11. The combination of stingy defense and powerful hitting proved to be a potent combination. The Lutes held the Missionaries to a .024 hitting percentage in the set.

The Missionaries would not go down without a fight though. The two teams exchanged leads several times, but Whitman took seven of the final 10 points to win the second set 25-22.

The third set featured more hard hitting action from both teams in another close game. The Lutes held a late 23-21 advantage before seniors Haley Urdahl and Allison Wood scored back-to-back kills to seal the set win for the Lutes.

The fourth set was another thriller. PLU held a 7-2 lead, but Whitman struck back with seven straight points to take a 9-7 lead. The two teams battled and exchanged leads throughout the rest of the set.

Late in the frame with the score tied at 24, the Lutes won the match on a kill by senior Bethany Huston, followed by a service ace from junior Amber Aguiar.

“There were a lot of long rallies. Our league is really tough,” head coach Kevin Aoki said. “It just goes to show how hard it is to do what we do.”

PLU was able to win many of those long rallies thanks to the 42 digs posted by defensive specialist and junior Amber Aguiar. This is the Lutes third win over Whitman this season.

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