Warriors clinch top seed for FC tourney
DILLON, Mont. – With a 3-0 sweep of Montana Western on Saturday afternoon, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team won at least a share of a fourth consecutive Frontier Conference regular season championship and clinched the top seed in the FC tourney with its 25-22, 25-15, 25-14 win.
“This team has done a phenomenal job of taking care of business,” said LCSC head coach Jen Greeny. “I’m very proud of them.”
At 21-1 overall and 11-0 in conference play, the Warriors are currently 3.5 games ahead of second-place Rocky Mountain which has a conference record of 7-3. To share the title, RMC would have to win its final four games, while LCSC would need to lose its final three. Even if that should happen, LCSC would still claim the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament because it defeated Rocky in both the head-to-head matches.
Greeny has now won the regular season title in each of her four seasons with the Warriors. Seniors Katie Hinrichs and Kim Fong join Joy Dunn as the only players to win four conference titles at LCSC. Dunn accomplished the feat in 1996-1999.
The Warriors the No. 1 seed at the 2010 Frontier Conference Tournament which will be held Nov. 12-13 in Lewiston, Idaho.
It wasn’t the prettiest performance of the season for LCSC on Saturday, but it was enough to get the job done. The Warriors hit .215 overall and had 11 service errors, which ties their second-highest total this year, but they were helped by nine team blocks and a big match by Kelli Tikker.
Tikker led with 13 kills on a .276 hitting percentage. She also a service ace and five digs.
Other Warrior contributors included Nicole Graybeal who had six kills, two solo blocks, and three block assists; Lauryn Herrick who had six kills and hit .778; Brianne Brown who had five kills and a .500 hitting clip; Fong and Alyssa Wold who had 18 and 17 assists, respectively; and Hinrichs who had 17 digs. All 16 players on LC’s active roster played in the match.
“It was a little bit tough getting going at first, but everybody contributed today,” Greeny said. “I thought our defense and passing was good again.”
Theresa Bennett topped the Bulldogs with six kills, an ace, and six digs. Alisha Kearsley had 17 assists, and Shelby Mack had 22 digs.
Montana Western, which now falls to 1-19 overall and 0-11 in the conference, hit negative .011 on the day.
With the victory, LCSC, which was ranked No. 9 in the most recent NAIA poll, extends its win streak to 13. The Warriors will look to push the streak to 15 as they face two more conference opponents at home next week. They’ll play MSU-Northern on Thursday at 7 p.m., and then Great Falls on Saturday at 2 p.m.