by Deborah Cabanos, Guest Writer
When Pacific Lutheran University’s volleyball team was asked what they thought the key to Friday night’s 3-0 Northwest Conference win against George Fox was, they said one thing: junior Lucy Capron.
“Our defense really stepped it up against George Fox, and a huge shout-out goes to our outside hitter Lucy Capron,” first-year Julia Hutchinson said. “She practiced so hard this week and brought that same intensity to the game. She was a big factor to our success.”
Senior libero Amber Aguiar agreed, saying, “Lucy Capron had an outstanding game.”
The junior outside hitter lead the team in numerous attacking statistics en route to a key victory to keep the Lutes in first place in NWC.
Capron’s 16 kills, 31 total attacks and five service aces condemned George Fox to its ninth conference loss of the year.
The Bruins opened the scoring in the first set and both teams traded points in what proved to be a back-and-forth start to the match.
George Fox took a 5-4 lead before the Lutes turned on the attack.
Once Capron, senior Amy Wooten and junior Kylai Cooley found their rhythm, their kills helped the team finish the first set with a comfortable 25-14 score.
In the second set, the crowd could be forgiven for thinking they had déjà vu.
The Bruins took the lead before being pegged back by the attacking power of the Lutes and key digs by Aguiar.
George Fox clawed their way back after some exciting rallies to bring the score to a close 11-9 for the Lutes, but once again, PLU piled on the points to win the second set 25-14.
“I thought that we came out with fire and sustained it the entire match,” Aguiar said. “I felt that the starters worked really hard to give other girls the chance to play.”
With their backs against the wall going into the all-important third set, George Fox came out with a purpose and even lead the Lutes at 9-8.
Despite continuing to hang with PLU at 13-15, the Lutes scored four unanswered points that turned out to be key in the 25-18 third set victory.
“Our offense killed it this weekend and Amy Wooten played one of the best games I’ve seen from her,” Hutchinson said. “It was awesome.”
PLU senior Samantha North was also huge for the Lutes, and her 35 assists were instrumental to Wooten, Cooley and Capron’s kills.
“We were focused and played with purpose,” Aguiar said.
The Lutes took on Linfield the following day, knowing a win would keep them tied with Whitworth atop the NWC standings.
Deborah Cabanos contributed to this article
On a stormy Saturday night, the Pacific Lutheran University volleyball team came out strong and defeated the Linfield Wildcats 3-0.
The last time these two teams faced off, the Lutes lost the game in five sets.
“We wanted to show Linfield who we are and prove that the team they beat last time is not the team we are today,” first-year defensive hitter Julia Hutchison said. “We played our hearts out and beat them in three.”
PLU took an early lead in the first set with a score of 8-3; however, Linfield played strong to tie the set at 11-11.
Linfield was up 15-13 when the Lutes took a timeout.
Following the timeout, the Lutes scored seven consecutive points, which helped contribute to their 25-20 set win.
The second set was a challenge as both teams went back and forth for control, which included six lead changes and 14 tie scores.
With ties at 19-19 and 20-20, the intensity rose on and off the court.
After they broke the tie barrier, the Lutes went on to win the set with a score of 25-23.
This set win was secured with a kill by senior middle back Amy Wooten.
“Last night, it felt like we had complete control of the game,” Wooten said. “I think every girl on the team had an outstanding game.”
The third set was a lot easier for the Lutes as they displayed their dominance on the court.
They built up an early lead to keep up a four point advantage until reaching 15-11.
The Wildcats played hard to close the gap to one point, but it was not good enough.
The Lutes teamwork was evident as they went on to score the last six points in the game.
The final kill was delivered by junior outside hitter Lucy Capron.
“Our win was a full on team contribution,” senior defensive hitter Amber Aguiar said. “On the court we performed on all cylinders both offensively and defensively.”
With the win, the Lutes have an overall record of 17-4 and a conference record of 10-2.
The loss for Linfield gives them an 8-9 overall record and a 7-5 conference record.
The next four games will be held at home on Names Family Court Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1. Both begin at 7 p.m.
Giancarlo Santoro contributed to this article.