Serving helps Warriors sweep Montana Western
Junior Lauryn Herrick had nine of Lewis-Clark State College’s 18 service aces and also added a match-high nine kills to help the 11th-ranked Warriors roll past the University of Montana Western 25-10, 25-16, 25-11 in Frontier Conference action at the LCSC Activity Center on Saturday afternoon.
LCSC, 13-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play, never trailed in the match. The win was the fifth straight for LCSC and marked the ninth time LCSC has swept an opponent this season.
Montana Western falls to 1-12 overall and 0-4 in conference play after suffering its ninth straight loss.
Herrick, who was a second-team all-FC selection a year ago, used her jump serve to help the Warriors take control early in each game. She fell three aces short of tying the school mark set by Lindsay Inroume against Rocky Mountain in 2003. LCSC also set a team record for aces in a match against Rocky with 22.
“When we can set the tone like that with our serving, it does great things for our blocking, defense, and also our offense,” LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. “We spend a lot of time on serving at practice, probably more than most teams. It definitely paid off today.”
In the first game, LCSC led 5-3 when Herrick took over and served the next seven points, three of which came by aces. She added another ace on the final point of the game as LCSC seven aces in the opening game. Junior middle blocker Nicole Graybeal added two aces.
“Our goal is to come out with a lot of energy, have fun and come out strong,” Herrick said.
Herrick then led off the second game with five straight service points, including two on aces, as the Warriors led 5-0 and later 10-2. Western couldn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way as the Warriors added seven more aces in the game, including three from Herrick and two from Alyssa Wold.
In the final game, Kim Fong had two aces to help LCSC to a 5-0 lead and Herrick added two more aces to make it 22-7 before she was replaced in the lineup.
“I’ve been working on that serve since I’ve been here,” said Herrick, who said she thought the nine aces was a personal best. “I started this jump serve in high school and the coaches have helped me with it.”
Herrick hit .600 for the match and also had two block assists to help the Warriors outblock the Bulldogs 8.5-1.
“I was really impressed with our blocking,” Greeny said. “When we block and serve the way we did, it is going to make the whole day a lot easier.”
Graybeal and Fong finished with three aces apiece. Graybeal also had seven kills and hit .538, while Fong finished with 20 assists and three digs. Kelli Tikker also had seven kills and six digs for LCSC, while Jenika Bird Jeppson and Deddiy Alaimaleata had six kills each. Alaimaleata also hit .545 for the match.
As a team, LCSC hit .356, while Montana Western was at .099.
Greeny says she’s not worried about her team’s focus or the possibility of looking past an opponent.
“It doesn’t matter who we are playing or what day the match is on, we’re here to improve,” Greeny said. “We want to get better and have fun, and I hope the fans that come see us enjoy watching us play.”
The Warriors are back in action next Friday and Saturday on the road in Montana. On Friday, the Warriors are in Havre to face Montana State-Northern at 6 p.m., and then trek to Great Falls on Saturday for a 1 p.m. match against the University of Great Falls.
LCSC’s next four matches are on the road and the team won’t be back home until it plays host to Carroll on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.