LEWISTON, Idaho – Sophomore outside hitter Lauryn Herrick (21) had eight kills to lead a balanced attack and help the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team stretch its win streak to five matches with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-20 non-league victory over Whitman College at the LCSC Activity Center on Tuesday night.
The win lifts the Warriors, ranked No. 11 in the NAIA, to 10-4 overall while Whitman, an NCAA Division III school, falls to 3-4 overall.
The Warriors put together runs in each game to take control, but never seemed to get in an overall groove.
“I thought we were a little streaky in the way we played,” LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. “I don’t know if it was because of a lack of focus, this wasn’t a conference match, or it was a mid-week match, but we have to do a better job. We have the top three teams in the conference coming up.”
The Warriors, who lead the Frontier Conference at 4-0, play host to Westminster on Friday night at 7 p.m., but first have another nonleague match as they will trek to Walla Walla on Wednesday to face Walla Walla University at 6 p.m. Greeny said she didn’t purposely schedule the back-to-back nonleague matches, but rather it was just the nights Whitman and Walla Walla had available to play.
In Tuesday’s opening game, the Warriors held the lead early, although the Missionaries cut the margin to 7-6 and 10-9. Katie Hinrichs then served four straight points for LCSC and the Warriors were able to hold a 4-6 point lead for the remainder of the game.
LCSC had a strong start to the second game, racing out to a 6-0 advantage, but Whitman rallied and eventually took a 10-9 lead. The Warriors then picked it up again as they ran off five straight points and 11 of the next 12 for a 20-11 advantage. Whitman cut it to six before succumbing.
The final game had Whitman get off to the hot start with a 7-3 lead, but the Warriors rolled back and led 14-9. Whitman did close to within two, but LCSC was able to pull away at the end.
Herrick, who had two big games last weekend, continued with her solid play. She hit .400 for the match and also had five of the team’s eight service aces.
“I just think that her experience level is going up,” Greeny said about Herrick’s play of late. “As a freshman, she played in just about every game and that experience has really helped her, especially improving on all the little things.”
The Warriors had eight players register at least one kill. Kelli Tikker added seven kills, while Demi Dlouhy had three. Senior All-American candidate Anile Clement finished with four kills, but only had nine attempts as Greeny rotated the roster.
Junior Kim Fong finished with 15 assists, while Katie Hinrichs had 13 digs and three service aces.
As a team, LCSC hit .206 and had eight blocks, including four from senior Dani Barrett. Whitman hit .010 and had one block.
Alex Graves led Whitman with eight kills, while Katie Miller added six.