Warrior volleyball team improves to 7-0 with two victories
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Not even the threat of Hurricane Earl could slow down the Lewis-Clark State College women's volleyball team.
Playing in a tournament where the hurricane threatened to touch down earlier this week, the Warriors rolled to a pair of victories at the Embry-Riddle University Labor Day Tournament by defeating Wayland Baptist 25-17, 23-25, 25-17, 25-21 and Northwestern Ohio 25-17, 25-12, 25-16.
LCSC, ranked No. 15 in the NAIA, improves to 7-0, while Wayland Baptist falls to 3-2 and Northwestern Ohio is 5-1
The second-set loss to Wayland Baptist is the first time the Warriors have lost a set this season. LCSC is 21-1 in sets this season.
Against Wayland Baptist, the Warriors played well offensively in spurts. In games one and three, the Warriors hit .545 and .400, respectively, but then hit only .180 in game two and .174 in game four.
“I thought we were a little up and down,” LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. “”but we proved we could come out and respond under pressure. We trailed 18-14 in the fourth game and came back to win.”
Junior Kelli Tikker led the way for the Warriors with 22 killls, a .404 hitting percentage and 11 digs. Jenika Bird Jeppson had 12 kills and hit .375 for the match, while Deddiy Alaimaleata also had 12 kills and hit .308. Lauryn Herrick added 11 kills, while Nicole Graybeal continued her strong presence at the net with nine kills and five blocks.
Kim Fong added 53 assists for the Warriors, while Katie Hinrichs had 23 digs and three aces.
LCSC had nine aces in the match, compared to one for Wayland Baptist.
Playing in a second match approximately three hours after the first one ended, the Warriors rolled to the sweep over Northwestern Ohio, overcoming an 11-5 deficit in the third game.
"I think we were able to put Deddiy and Naomi (Hernandez) in and they did a good job of changing the flow of the game," Greeny said of the Warrior rally. "We responded pretty well to the pressure there."
Greeny said the Warriors' defense was outstanding with 16 blocks.
Herrick again had a solid match with 10 kills and a .391 hitting percentage, while Graybeal had nine kills and nine blocks. Tikker added eight kills, 13 digs and two of the team's six service aces.
Hinrichs had 10 digs, while Fong had 28 assists.
As a team, LCSC had 38 kills to 21 for Northwestern and also hit .269 for the match, compared to negative-.067 for Northwestern.
"We are definitely happy with the first day," Greeny said. "I thought we did a better job in the afternoon of not being so up and down. I actually don't feel we have played really really well, but we're playing good enough to win."
The Warriors face two more stiff challenges on Saturday as they take on No. 21-ranked Madonna at 8 a.m., and then Oklahoma Baptist at noon. Oklahoma Baptist, which received votes in the preseason NAIA poll, and beat Madonna in tournament play on Thursday.
"This tournament is a good test for our team," Greeny said. "We are playing much better competition and hopefully we can keep it going tomorrow."