Going through a stretch where No. 2-ranked
The loss leaves the Warriors at 1-1 in pool play and 30-3 overall. The Warriors complete pool play on Thursday against Lubbock Christian at 1:45 p.m. Lubbock Christian defeated Madonna in five sets on Wednesday so the winner of the LCSC-Lubbock Christian match will advance to Friday's single-elimination bracket while the loser will be done for the season.
Biola, 2-0 in pool play and 29-3 overall, completes pool play versus Madonna. The top two teams from each of the six pools advance to the single-elimination portion of the bracket on Friday. Biola already has clinched a spot in Friday's play
The Warriors, who lost the first two sets against Madonna on Tuesday night before rallying to win the next three and the match, ran into a stifling Biola defense, which allowed LCSC to hit only .050 for the match. LCSC only had 20 kills on the day along with 15 attack errors. LCSC didn’t hit above .100 in any of the three sets.
“It’s no wonder they are the second-ranked team,” LCSC coach Jennifer Greeny said. “We didn’t play extremely well, but a good team is going to make you make those kinds of mistakes. They are very solid all the way around.”
The Warriors started out fine and were hitting in the .200s when it trailed 13-11 in the opening game, but Biola was able to gradually pull away and claim the win.
The key point came in the match came in the second set after LCSC opened up a 5-2 lead. The Warriors appeared to be bouncing back well after falling in the opening game, but the Eagles’ senior outside hitting duo of 6-foot-1 Meghan Warkentin and 5-10 Jessica Buffum got Biola rolling. Two kills by Buffum started a four-point run to put Biola ahead 6-5. After a kill by Dani Barrett tied the set, the Eagles responded with 13 straight points. Abbie Wright had three service aces, while LCSC committed four hitting errors. The Eagles then used two kills by Buffum to close out the set, which saw LCSC actually hit for .000 as six attack errors offset the six kills it had.
The problem for LCSC is that things didn’t get better until it was too late. Biola ran off 10 of the first 11 points in the third set for a 10-1 lead. That meant after LCSC’s 5-2 lead in the second set, Biola scored 33 of the next 42 points in the match.
“We talked about how we were a little bit disappointed with our level of fight in this match,” Greeny said. “We got down and stopped communicating and doing the little things that we have done all year. We know we didn’t play like we are capable of.”
The Warriors did close the gap to seven twice in the third game, the final time at 20-13, but Biola scored the final five points.
The Eagles finished with a .304 hitting percentage and had 48 kills on the day, along with eight service aces, compared to no aces for the Warriors, which is the first time they have been held to without an ace this season.
Buffum and Warkentin finished with 13 kills apiece. Combined, they had six more kills than LCSC had in the match.
The Warriors were led by Julie Maciboba’s nine kills and .364 hitting percentage. Anile Clemente had five kills and the second-best hitting percentage for LCSC, which was only .028. Dana Christiansen added four kills.
Abby Bruya had 11 of the team’s 18 assists, while Lindsay Scott had a team-high 14 digs. Scott now has 516 digs on the season, topping her 515 total from last year, which was the fifth-best single-season dig mark at LCSC.
Clemente added eight digs, while Maciboba and Austyn Lewis had two blocks apiece for the Warriors.
Clemente’s four kills ties her with Liana Croft for ninth on LCSC’s all-time single-season kill list with 424. Clemente also needs one more service ace to move into the No. 2 spot on the single-season ace list with 64.
Maciboba moved into the No. 8 spot on the single-season block assist list with 92.
The loss marked the first time LCSC was swept this season. The Warriors started the season with a school-record 20 straight wins before losing to Montana Tech on the road in four sets. LCSC later lost to
Greeny said she doesn’t think the Warriors will have a hard time bouncing back against Lubbock Christian on Thursday. The team and coaches spent Wednesday night scouting the Lubbock Christian-Madonna match and formulation a plan for final pool play match.