11th-ranked Warriors handle Westminster
SALT LAKE CITY - Junior outside hitter Deddiy Alaimaleata recorded 13 kills, nine blocks, and hit .444 for the match to help the Lewis-Clark State College women's volleyball team finish the first half of Frontier Conference play undefeated with a 25-12, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18 win over Westminster on Friday night.
The Warriors, 16-1 overall and ranked No. 11 in the country, won their eighth straight match to improve to 7-0 in conference play. Five of the team's seven conference victories came on the road and those five teams rank second through sixth in the conference standings. The Warriors will have no worse than a two-game lead when the second half of conference play starts in two weeks.
Westminster, which received votes in the last NAIA Top 25 poll, falls to 4-3 in conference play and 8-7 overall.
Alaimaleata accounted for 18 points for LCSC as she also had two assists and a dig. Teammate Kelli Tikker added 11 kills and 15 digs, while Jenika Bird-Jeppson added seven blocks.
Middle blocker Nicole Graybeal and outside hitter Lauryn Herrick added eight kills and a service ace apiece for LCSC, which hit .209 in the match compared to .071 for Westminster. Graybeal also had four digs and four blocks to help the Warriors to a 12-6 advantage in blocks.
LCSC also had a 72-58 advantage in digs and held Westminster's big hitter, Clotile Harris, to 10 kills on 40 attempts.
"I really think our defense and blocking were fantastic tonight," LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. "Anytime you can slow down Clotile Harris like we did you have to be pleased with the defense."
Senior setter Kim Fong had 22 assists and 13 digs, while Alyssa Wold had 20 assists. Senior libero Katie Hinrichs added 20 digs.
The Warriors got off to a great start in the match with a 13-4 lead in the first game. Westminster cut the lead to six, but LCSC used a pair of 4-0 run to win going away.
In the second game, Westminster held a slight edge before a small run helped it to a 19-13 advantage. The Warriors rallied to tie the game at 22, but after a time out, the Griffins scored the final three points. It marked only the third game in conference play the Warriors have lost this season. LCSC is 21-3 in FC games.
LCSC took a pair of small leads early in the third game, but each time Westminster fought back to tie the match. After Westminster tied it at 12, the Warriors ran off three straight points to take the lead for good. Westminster cut the lead to 17-16, but LCSC scored seven of the next eight points for a 24-17 lead.
In the fourth game, a service ace by Herrick and two kills by Jeppson helped the Warriors to a 5-0 lead, but Westminster answered with six straight and 10 of the next 11 for a 10-6 advantage.
LCSC then went on a 10-1 run to take the lead for good at 16-11. Westminster did cut the margin to 19-17, but the Warriors scored six of the final seven points to close out the match.
"We didn't play our best, but we just kept grinding away and got it done," Greeny said.
LCSC resumes action next Wednesday when it takes on Whitman College in Walla Walla at 6 p.m. The team will also hold a fundraiser at 4-8 p.m. next Saturday at Macullen's restaurant in Lewiston.