IRVINE, Calif. – The Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team ended a hard fought two-day tournament with an exclamation point as they took down Vanguard University in five sets 25-14, 20-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-12 on Saturday night.
The win over the NAIA’s 10th-ranked team improves LCSC to 5-4 on the year and gives them an even 2-2 mark during the 2009 Asics Crowne Plaza Labor Day Tournament.
After being handed a lopsided 25-16 loss in the fourth set and falling into a 5-1 hole early in the fifth set, some might have expected the Warriors to raise a white flag and accept a defeat.
“That’s when we started blocking,” said LCSC head coach Jen Greeny. “We responded with the block and clawed our way back into it.”
With a couple Vanguard miscues, four blocks, and kills by Jenika Bird and Anile Clemente the Warriors scrambled their way to an 11-9 lead. From here the Warriors closed the book on the match with the help of another kill from Clemente, a service ace by Stephanie Shumaker, a block by Dani Barrett and Lydia Tollbom, and a game-ending kill by Barrett.
“We never gave up,” said LCSC head coach Jen Greeny. “The momentum was swelling in their direction, but the team really competed and overcame some adversity.”
Kim Fong led the team with 17 assists, including some key assists in the fifth set, and Lisa Davis added 12 to go with her four service aces. Four Warriors reached double figures in digs as Shumaker had 15, Clemente and Lauryn Herrick had 12, and Fong had 11.
Jamie Heenan led Vanguard with 16 kills, while Heather Dejongh had five blocks, and Megan Walsh had 32 assists.
“The way the team competed all day was great,” said Greeny. “Coming into this tournament we said that if we could go 2-2 against the No. 1, 3, 4, and 10 teams in the NAIA that we would be really happy with that.”
The Warriors return to action on Sept. 11 as the kickoff the Frontier Conference season with a trip to Dillon, Mont. to face Montana Western. Then on Sept. 12 they’ll travel to Butte, Mont. to face Montana Tech.