Warriors thwart Tech's upset attempt
BUTTE, Mont. – It was a different pace, and a different amount of sets than usual, nevertheless, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team nailed down its 20th win of the season on Friday evening. The Warriors overcame a pesky Montana Tech team in five sets 23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 15-7.
The Orediggers are the first team to take the No. 9-ranked Warriors to five sets during Frontier Conference play this season.
“They play a little bit of a faster tempo with a lot of tips,” said LCSC head coach Jen Greeny. “They played extremely well. The key for us was getting used to the rhythm of the game.”
After the rocky first set in which the Warriors were outhit .300 to .184, LCSC seemed to play at its own speed in the next two. The Warriors outhit Tech .389 to .100 in set two, and then .235 to .059 in set three.
With the win, Lewis-Clark State now holds an overall record of 20-1 (which is its fourth consecutive year with 20 wins or more), a 10-0 mark in the conference, and a 12 match winning streak. Montana Tech is now at 12-11 overall, and 4-6 in league play.
Four blocks helped the Orediggers take more control of the net in set four which resulted in the Warrior hitting only .091 and the match being tied up at two sets apiece.
The final set began similarly to how the prior set ended with the Orediggers controlling the pace and holding the lead. Tech jumped to a 5-1 advantage, however, the Warriors, led by a huge night from junior Deddiy Alaimaleata, fought their way back.
After knotting the score at 7-7, LCSC rattled off eight unanswered points to clinch the win.
Alaimaleata led with 17 kills and a .419 hitting percentage. She was aided by Nicole Graybeal and Lauryn Herrick who had 13 kills apiece, and by Kelli Tikker who had 12.
Graybeal led the Warriors at the service line as she collected three aces and was the server during the final rally of the fifth set.
Katie Hinrichs’ 19 digs highlighted LCSC’s strong defensive effort. Kaylee Rector chipped in with 16 and Alyssa Wold had 11 to go with her 19 assists and two service aces.
Katie Daly led Tech with 16 kills and four solo blocks. Jesse Bowden added 21 assists, and Lacey Phelan had 14 digs.
Overall, LCSC hit .229 on the watch, while Tech hit only .139 but was able to out-block the Warriors eight to six.
With just four matches left in their conference schedule, the Warriors are one win away from clinching their fourth straight regular season title. The opportunity to claim the crown will come quickly, as LCSC faces Montana Western in Dillon, Mont. on Saturday at 3 p.m. pacific time.