Strong service propels 11th-ranked Warriors to sweep of Westminster
LEWISTON, Idaho – Led by a strong serving that featured eight service aces, the Lewis-Clark State college women’s volleyball team stretched its win streak to seven matches with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-22 triumph over Westminster College in a Frontier Conference match at the LCSC Activity Center on Friday night.
The win keeps the two-time defending conference champion Warriors in first place at 5-0 in league play. Overall, the 11th-ranked Warriors are 12-4 after winning its fourth straight match in a 3-0 sweep. LCSC now won its last 14 games.
Friday’s contest was a tight one with several long rallied and neither team able to put runs together. LCSC, however, was able to keep the Griffins, 3-2 in league and 6-11 overall, on their heels with its serving. With senior Anile Clemente, the conference’s Player of the Year last season, and Lauryn Herrick’s powerful serves and lob serves from Lisa Davis, the Warriors were able to be the aggressors for most of the match. Clemente finished with three services aces, while Herrick and Davis had two.
“We work on our serving a ton because it’s the first line of defense,” LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. “We had eight service aces to four service errors. That’s fantastic. But what I really like is the zero receiving errors. That’s the first time I believe we’ve done that this season.”
Both serve and serve receiving turned out to be the keys to the match. Westminster actually outhit the Warriors at .153 to .125 and also outblocked LCSC 9-4. But Westminster didn’t have a service ace and had seven service errors and eight receive errors.
The first game, which featured 44 rallies, was typical of Friday’s match with the lead going back-and-forth until LCSC gained a 17-14 advantage. Westminster cut the margin to 20-19, but the Warriors scored the final five points – the longest run of the night – thanks to a service ace by Davis and kills from Clemente and Demi Dloughy.
Westminster took the early lead in the second game at 12-10, but Herrick had a kill and back-to-back service aces to help the Warriors eventually go up 19-15. Westminster twice cut the lead to two points, but a kill by Clemente put the game away.
The Griffins came out fired up in the third game and grabbed a 9-4 lead, only to see LCSC rally to tie it at 11-11 and then grab a 15-12 lead behind two service aces from Clemente. Westminster did rally to take a 20-19 lead, but Davis tied it with a service ace and the Warriors were able to prevail down the stretch.
“I like the way we played defense tonight,” Greeny said. “That was a great team we played and defensively every ball was coming back.”
Clemente led the Warriors with 13 kills, while Herrick added 12 and Dani Barrett added nine. Katie Hinrichs had 23 digs, while Clemente finished with 22. Kim Fong had 20 assists, while Davis finished with 17.
Senior Talita Kresser led Westminster with 15 kills and 10 digs, while Megan Evans had 17 assists and 10 digs.
The Warriors wrap up the first half of conference play on the road next week when they take on Rocky Mountain in Billings on Thursday and then Carroll College in Helena on Saturday.