Strong start doesn't help Warriors in loss to C of I
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – For the second straight night, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team got off to a great start in its first game Wednesday at the 30th annual NAIA Volleyball Tournament. Problem was the next three games didn't go as well.
In a repeat performance of their match against Azusa Pacific on Tuesday, the Warriors again won the first game before they fell in the next three to College of Idaho as they sustained a 21-25, 25-10, 25-18, 25-20 setback to the Coyotes.
The loss dropped LCSC to 0-2 in pool play and eliminated the Warriors from the opportunity to move on to the bracket portion of the tournament. There are six pools of four teams apiece, but only the top two teams in each pool – 12 overall – advance to bracket play, which starts Friday.
With the win over the Warriors, College of Idaho improved to 2-0 in pool play and will join Azusa Pacific in the bracket round. Azusa Pacific also moved to 2-0 with a three-game sweep over Doane of Nebraska on Wednesday.
Pool play wraps up Thursday with Azusa Pacific and College of Idaho meeting at 3:45 p.m., followed by LCSC and Doane at 6 p.m.
The is the 10th time LCSC has competed at the national tournament, including the third straight year. The Warriors went 1-2 in pool play in each of the past two years.
LCSC, 24-9 overall, entered the tournament with high hopes, even though it was seeded 20th out of the 24 teams. LCSC defeated No. 5 Azusa Pacific during the regular season and also took College of Idaho, 26-2 overall, to five games before it fell 17-15 in the fifth game in a match that could have gone either way.
The Warriors, however, followed the same pattern in Wednesday’s loss to the Coyotes that took place in Tuesday’s setback against Azusa Pacific. LCSC started out strong and played their best in the first game and grabbed a win, but then lost the next three games as it hurt itself during critical stretches.
“College of Idaho is a great team and they were defensively just all over the place,” Warrior coach Jen Greeny said. “I thought we played better today. We didn’t play that well (against Azusa Pacific), but against this level of competition, you can’t have those streaks of mistakes like we’ve been having. And we haven’t played extremely well at all.”
Greeny said passing problems continued to hurt the Warriors. LCSC also had trouble with untimely hitting errors and the blocking adjustments made by the Coyotes after the first game.
LCSC finished the match with a .053 hitting percentage after it hit .191 in the first game.
“It was just really hard to dig ourselves out of the holes we put ourselves in,” Greeny said. “But that’s a credit to College of Idaho. They are a really tall team and we had trouble with their blocks. We just couldn’t find our rhythm after that first game.”
Senior outside hitter Anile Clemente led the Warriors with 14 kills, half of which came in the first game. She also had a team-best 23 digs, an assist, a service ace, and a block assist. Dana Christiansen and Lauryn Herrick added nine kills apiece, while Jenika Bird had six.
Lisa Davis led the Warriors with 19 assists, while Kim Fong added 15. Stephanie Shumaker had 17 digs, while Davis had 16. Bird led LCSC with 3.5 blocks.
The Warriors got off to a solid start in the first game as they grabbed a 4-2 advantage. College of Idaho fought back and took its biggest lead at 8-6. The Yotes took their final lead at 9-8 as LCSC rolled off the next seven points for its biggest lead at 15-9. Clemente had three kills during the run, while Demi Dlouhy added another. College of Idaho aided LCSC’s run with three attack errors.
The Yotes did fight back and eventually cut the Warriors’ lead to 19-18 with a four-point run, but Lauryn Herrick had a kill and a service ace to give the Warriors some breathing room. LCSC then scored four of the final five points of the game, including back-to-back kills by Clemente to close it out. Clemente hit .350 in the first game, while Herrick added four kills and hit .500 for the game.
The Warriors’ hitting problems started early in the second game. College of Idaho ran off seven of eight points early to take a 10-3 lead and never look back. The Warriors trailed by seven on two other occasions, the last at 13-6, but the Yotes would go on to score 12 of the next 16 points for the win. LCSC had nine attack errors in the game, which enabled C of I to easily tie the match at a game apiece. LCSC hit a negative-.091 in the game.
LCSC got off to a nice start in the third game with a 4-1 lead, but three attack errors helped the Coyotes run off five straight points for a 6-4 lead. The Warriors cut the margin to one point on three occasions, the final one at 17-16, but couldn’t get over the hump as the Coyotes had an answer each time. Kills by Kathryn Ely and Naomi Reimer helped C of I finish the match with an 8-2 run. Macella Hernandez also had a pair of blocks during the critical stretch, while LCSC had three more attack errors. The Warriors finished with seven attack errors in the game.
College of Idaho kept the momentum in the fourth game as it rolled out to 4-0 advantage and then used another 4-0 run for an 8-2 lead. Of the first eight points by the Coyotes, half came on attack errors by LCSC and blocks by C of I.
After the Coyotes opened up a seven point lead, LCSC used four straight points to cut the margin to 16-13. Clemente, Jenika Bird and Dan Christiansen all had kills during the run for LCSC. After C of I answered with a 3-0 run, the Warriors used a 5-0 run to cut it to 19-18. Christiansen and Herrick both had kills while Clemente had a service ace to help LCSC rally.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, College of Idaho again answered with a run of its own. A 3-0 run gave the Coyotes a 22-18 cushion and they hung on to win the fourth game and clinch the match.
The Warriors finished the match with nine blocks, while College of Idaho had 12 blocks and hit .143 for the match.
Ciciley Fox led College of Idaho with 12 kills, while Ely had 11. Madie Machurek added 22 digs and 22 assists.
Four seniors – Clemente, Christiansen, Davis and Dani Barrett – will be playing their final match in a Warrior uniform on Thursday.