Battle on the court ends in Linfield victory

Alex Jensen, Staff Writer

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The Wildcats triumphed in a point by point battle to the finish. The Linfield volleyball team beat the Pacific Lutheran Lutes 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 10-25 and 16-14 Friday night in the Ted Wilson Gym.

“I’m super stoked; this was a really great win for us because the beginning of the season we would lose mostly to every team, defiantly in a fifth set it is a good win,” Gabi Lou, ’20, said.

“It was a lot of up and downs and it’s super exciting always doing a fifth set. It’s one of my favorites,” Taylor Petersen, ’19, said.

The first set had 16 kills, eight errors, 40 total attempts and a hitting percentage of .200.

The Wildcats came out strong early on but it was clear this match was going to be a battle. Set leaders kept switching from the ‘Cats to the Lutes and back to the ‘Cats

“It’s always nice to beat PLU, and I think we started strong and winning the first set is really helpful against them. I was proud of how we shook off the fourth set after getting slaughtered and then coming back and winning the fifth; that was a good bounce back,” Molly McTaggart, ’17, said.

The second set had 15 kills, eight errors, 50 total attempts and a hitting percentage of .140. Wildcats had a strong lead but Lutes kept pushing, pulling them up into a point by point battle.

Kayla Magbaleta, ’19 with a killer airborne dive in the second making it a 21-21 set.

The ’Cats attack was led by Audrey Hyem, ’19, with 16 kills and 35 total attempts. Darian Stedman, ’19, closely followed with 14 kills and a whopping 52 total attempts. Petersen and McTaggart, followed with 13 and 11 kills.

The Wildcats had a total of 61 kills, 34 errors, 192 total attempts and a hitting percentage of .141, compared to the Lutes 52 kills, 19 errors, 173 total attempts and a .191 hitting percentage.

Jamie Talbo, ’18 and Casie Gaza, ’17, were on their assist queens game Friday night. Gaza had 33 assists and Talbo 21 assists. ’Cats had a total of 60 assists for the night.

It was a very stressful match.

“We…practice this all the time like we do point by point so I kind felt like just a practice drill and just knowing that we have done it so many times kind of made it easier,” Lou said.

Taylor Souza, ’20, added “yeah, we prepared for this so we can do it.”

The third set had 13 kills, five errors, 37 total attempts and a .253 hitting percentage.

Stedman had an assassin ace going 9-4 in the third. The ball gently grazed the net immediately falling perpendicular onto the opponents’ floor.

The Wildcats had seven service aces for the night. Stedman had a slaying three. McTaggart came out with two. Hyem and Gaza closed out with one each.

The fourth set was not a fun one for the Wildcats, ending the set with seven kills, 10 errors, 37 total attempts and -0.81 hitting percentage.

The Wildcats defense was led by Magbaleta with a massive 38 digs. Gaza follows with 14 digs.

Talbo had 11 digs. Stedman and Lou came out with 10 digs each.

The fifth set had 10 kills, three errors, 31 total attempts and .226 hitting percentage.

“It was a good win because earlier this season we lost in four so it was nice that we were able to take it back and win in five and we’ll just forget the fourth game that happened today,” Mackenzie Courtney, ’20, said.

The Wildcats record is 12-9 and a Northwest Conference Record of 7-8.

’Cats next play the George Fox Bruins at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the Ted Wilson Gym.