Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
TACOMA, Wash. -The Pacific Lutheran University volleyball team dropped the opening set of the night before ripping off wins in the next three sets, downing host Pacific University 3-1 on Friday night in a Northwest Conference match inside the Stoller Center. The victory was the Lutes' third straight while handing the Boxers their first setback of the NWC slate.
The Lutes (10-3, 5-1 NWC) enjoyed a 15-13 lead in the opening set before the host Boxers (11-2, 5-1 NWC) tallied 12 of the next 17 points, stealing the first set of the night 25-20 on a PLU attack error. PLU never trailed in set two, scoring five consecutive points to turn a 9-9 deadlock into a 14-9 edge. PLU owned a three-point buffer the rest of the set with a Caylie Shiramizu service ace gives the Lutes the 25-19 win to level the match.
PLU dug itself in an early hole in set three, falling behind 6-1 before methodically chipping away. The Lutes tied the set at 12 on a kill from Angelica Hulett and neither team was able to earn much separation the rest of the way. Another Hulett kill followed by a Boxer attack error gave PLU the 27-25 win before wrapping up the match with a 25-22 win in the fourth set.
"After the first set we rebounded quite well to beat a very good and much improved Pacific team," said Head Coach Kevin Aoki. "I really like how our team played when the going got tough and Angelica provided some spark off the bench."
Mackenzie Harris led the way with 14 kills while Chloe Epker finished with a double-double of 12 kills and 18 digs. Kiana Calles finished with a team-high 35 assists along with 17 digs while Shiramizu and Gabrielle Alley added 25 and 13 digs, respectively.
"We're excited for another tough match at Willamette tomorrow to close out the road trip."
The Lutes cap off their Oregon road swing tomorrow afternoon, squaring off against Willamette University at 5 p.m. in Salem.