Lutes continue conference rule, win awards
The PLU Volleyball team finished the regular season with its 13th consecutive Northwest Conference victory and third straight conference crown. The win came against the Willamette Bearcats in three straight sets Nov. 6 at the Cone Field House and put the team at 20-6 for the regular season. The victory ultimately put the Lutes into the NCAA Division III national tournament as the No. 4 seed. They faced Nebraska Wesleyan, the No. 5 seed, on Thursday, Nov. 13 in the first round. The Lutes won the first two sets from Prairie Wolves before losing the next three and the match. They finished the season with a 20-7 record.
In addition to conference rule and post season appearances, the team swept the top two conference awards for the second straight year. Several PLU players also made all-conference team honors.
Sophomore outside hitter, Beth Hanna, was named Player of the Year by Northwest Conference coaches.
Aoki, in his 13th season, was selected as Coach of the Year.
Hanna became the first repeat winner since 2001-2002 and led all players in kills per set with 4.36. Last year, she became the first freshman to earn the Player of the Year honor.
Aoki received the Coach of the Year honor for the third straight year and fifth time since 1999. He has a 222-116 record while leading the Lutes.
Hanna was joined on the all-conference team by sophomore setter Sarah Beaver. Junior libero Brenna Archibald earned second team honors and freshman outside hitter Kelsie Moore was named to the honorable mention list.