LCSC falls to No. 18 Coyotes in five games before record crowd
LEWISTON, Idaho – Naiomi Reimer had back-to-back kills and Madie Machurek had two assists and a kill on the final three points to lift No. 18-ranked College of Idaho to a wild 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 20-25, 17-15 win over Lewis-Clark State College to complete the first day of the five-team Comfort Inn Classic at the LCSC Activity Center on Friday.
Trailing 15-14 and in danger of losing its second straight five-game match of the tournament, College of Idaho managed to score the final three points against the Warriors to capture the win. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes lost a five-set match to No. 2 ranked Concordia of Irvine, Calif., 26-28, 28-26, 26-24, 20-25, 15-13.
Concordia leads the tournament with a 2-0 mark as it also defeated the University of Great Falls 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23. Both LCSC and Great Falls defeated Northwest University of Seattle. LCSC started the day with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-8 win, while Great Falls defeated Northwest 25-22, 25-11, 25-15. Great Falls, College of Idaho and LCSC are all 1-1 in the round-robin tournament, while Northwest is 0-2.
Five matches are also scheduled for Saturday to complete the tournament. College of Idaho meets Northwest to start play at 10 a.m., followed by LCSC and Great Falls at noon. Concordia faces Northwest at 2 p.m., followed by Great Falls and College of Idaho at 4 p.m. The final match has Concordia and LCSC at 7 p.m.
The College of Idaho-LCSC match featured a number of runs, and at times, missed opportunities for both and was played in front of a 847 fans, a regular-season attendance record for volleyball in the Activity Center.
LCSC managed to start most of the game fast, but College of Idaho managed to rally each time.
The Coyotes took advantage of four service errors in the first game by LCSC to capture the win, but the Warriors broke a 22-22 tie in the second game with the final three points as Anile Clemente pounded home two kills and junior Katie Hinrichs added an ace serve.
In the third game, Lauryn Herrick served the seven points to stake the Warriors to the early lead, but College of Idaho fought back and managed to gain the upper hand at 13-11. LCSC couldn’t get closer than two points the rest of the way as the Coyotes took the third game.
“It was disappointing to be up like that in the third game and let them come back like that,” LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. “But I think we fought hard for the most part.”
The Warriors led 4-3 in the fourth game when Clemente, who was the Frontier Conference’s Player of the Year and a First Team All American last year, toed the service line and ran off 13 straight points for a 17-3 lead. Still, the Coyotes cut the margin to 22-19 before LCSC hung on for the win.
The fifth game was more of the same back-and-forth. The Coyotes led 6-1 and 8-5, but the Warriors managed to knot the score at 8. LCSC took its first lead at 10-9 and actually led twice by two points, the last at 12-10. The Warriors then led 13-12 and 14-13 and had match point within their grasp before the Coyotes scored the final three points for the win.
“This is a great experience to come out on the first weekend of the season and face a team like College of Idaho,” said Greeny, whose club features eight returning players from a year ago and eight new players. “We’re still getting to know how people play on the court.”
Clemente led the Warriors with 16 kills, 21 digs and eight service aces. Kelli Tikker added 10 kills and 18 digs, while Hinrichs added 27 digs and three aces.
For the match, LCSC hit .144, while College of Idaho hit .161.
Earlier in the day, the Warriors used a balanced attack in the win over Northwest as five players collected between four and six kills. Clemente collected six kills as did junior right side hitter Lydia Tollbom.
Tikker added five kills, while senior Dana Christiansen and junior Demi Dlouhy both added four.
“I thought we played great in the morning,” Greeny said. “Everyone got to play and they did a great job. Demi especially had a great match.”
The Warriors hit .263 in the match, compared to negative-.073 for Northwest University. Northwest collected 18 kills, but had 26 hitting errors.
Sophomore Abby Bruya had 14 assists to pace LCSC, while senior Lisa Davis had nine. Hinrichs chipped in with 12 digs, while Tikker added 10. Dlouhy had six blocks, while Tollbom, Tikker and Dani Barrett added four each.
The Warriors also collected 12 service aces in the match, including three from Hinrichs and two apiece from Tikker and Stephanie Schumaker.