Lutes Defeat Bearcats in Three Games, as Pacific Lutheran Moves to 4-0 in Northwest Conference

TACOMA, WASH. -- Pacific Lutheran University recorded 19 kills with just one kill error and a .450 hitting percentage in the first game, as the Lutes took a 1-0 lead in a 3-0 victory over Willamette University on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Olson Auditorium. PLU achieved an overall team hitting percentage of .314 during the match, and defeated the Bearcats 30-16, 30-24, 30-20, to improve to 10-4 overall, 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette, which hit .039 against the Lutes, fell to 3-10 overall, 0-4 in the NWC.

Leading Pacific Lutheran’s hitting success was Stacie Matz, with 14 kills. Kati McGinn and Kelcy Joynt each added 10 kills for PLU. The Lutes also received 40 assists from Gina Di Maggio, while Megan Kosel contributed 17 digs and McGinn provided 11 digs.

PLU recorded two block solos and 12 block assists for 8.0 team total blocks. Kyla Wytko topped the Lutes with four block assists and a pair of solo blocks.

Willamette’s top hitters were Julie Stutzman (Fr., OH, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) and Kelley Lindstrom (So., OH, Banks, OR/Banks HS), each with eight kills. Brooke Smith (So., RS, Glide, OR/Glide HS) tacked on six kills for the Bearcats.

Setter Jessica Drumm (Jr., Salem OR/South Salem HS) was credited with 25 assists. Jessica Durham (So., OH/LIB, Medford, OR/North Medford HS), Willamette’s libero, led all players with 18 digs. The Bearcats earned 3.0 team total blocks, led by Smith, who registered one solo block and two block assists.

Pacific Lutheran built an 8-1 lead in the first game and remained in control throughout the opening contest. In the second game, Willamette tied the score at 11-11 and trailed by just two points at 15-13, but four consecutive points for the Lutes gave PLU a 19-13 advantage. The Lutes held leads of 6-1 and 12-4 in the third game. Willamette eventually cut the margin to four points, 24-20, but PLU closed out the match with six consecutive points.

Willamette returns home to host Linfield College in a Northwest Conference match on Wednesday, Sept. 27. The action at Cone Field House is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (PDT). Linfield is off to its best start ever, with an 11-0 overall mark and a 4-0 record in the NWC.