City Christian scores the last five points to claim the fifth set 15-6

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Portland Lutherans Denisse Cruz watches after popping up a City kill attempt during Tuesdays five-set loss.

Portland Lutheran’s volleyball team mounted comebacks all night long, but had no gas left in the tank when it tried to hit the accelerator down the stretch in Tuesday’s five-set loss to City Christian.

The visiting Lions charged out to a 7-1 behind a four-point service run by Raven Hews, who finished the scoring spurt with an ace.

“I told the girls we needed to get out quick and they responded to that,” City coach Bryan Lewellen said. “You get out ahead and it gives you confidence and allows you to relax a bit.”

The Blue Jays had a chance to get back within striking distance when City was called for a rotation error midway through the set.

Lutheran was given a penalty point to close the gap to 10-6, but the Lions rotation was shifted bringing middle blocker Kristin Rachinski back into the front row where she was able to neutralize Lutheran’s heavy hitter Kaitlin Howard.

The Blue Jays wouldn’t score another point.

During one key exchange, City turned back four straight Lutheran attacks before the Lions’ Abby Lewellen sent a winner down the line for a 12-6 lead. Lewellen hammered a kill off a Lutheran block on match point to close out the final set 15-6.

“We haven’t been challenged like to this point. The girls hadn’t been in that situation before and didn’t know how to react,” Portland Lutheran coach Rory Rush said. “City gave us a good challenge, and maybe that’s just what we needed.”

The win moves City (8-1) and Lutheran (7-1) into a virtual tie atop the Valley 10 with the teams splitting their season series.

The Blue Jays erased a seven-point deficit to win the first set and climbed out of a 10-point hole late in the second set to tie the score before eventually dropping that game in extra points.

Look for extended match coverage in the Friday, Oct. 5, edition of The Outlook.

View a photo gallery from the match at …

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