Herrick's serving powers Warriors in FC opener
LEWISTON, Idaho - Lewis-Clark State College junior Lauryn Herrick doesn't have a catchy name for her jump serve.
The University of Montana Western volleyball team can probably help fill in some of the blanks after Friday's match in the Frontier Conference Tournament at the LCSC Activity Center.
Herrick had eight service aces, including six in the opening set, to help the top seeded Warriors roll to a 25-10, 25-11, 25-15 win over the eight-seeded Bulldogs. LCSC, ranked No. 9 in the NAIA, improves to 26-1 on the season with its 18th straight win, while Montana Western's season comes to an end at 1-23.
"It's a jump serve with a lot of top spin," LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. "It just has that wicked top spin that makes it drop so quickly. She's been so consistent with it this year."
Herrick now has 67 ace serves on the season, which is second on the single-season list at LCSC. Tammy Jennings had 82 during the 1992 season.
Herrick gets plenty of power on the serve and then ball ten starts to drop rapidly once it crosses the net, which confuses defenders as to where it will come down.
"I have been using that serve since high school and definitely its the speed and spin that make it tough," Herrick said. "I've heard people say when I slap the ball before I serve 'it's hammer time,' but I don't have a name for it. It's just a jump serve.
Herrick had four aces to help the Warriors to a 6-1 lead in the opening set. She had her eight aces early in the second set, but UMW made the necessary adjustments to stop Herrick's bid of trying to match the LCSC single-match record of 11 aces.
Herrick also had eight kills to help a balanced Warrior attack. Jenika Bird Jeppsen had a match-high nine kills, while Deddiy Alaimaleata added eight kills and Kelly Tikker had seven.
"I thought Jenika Bird Jeppsen did an outstanding job for us," Greeny said. "And I really liked our blocking."
The Warriors had eight blocks, compared to none for the Bulldogs. Jeppsen and Nichole Graybeal accounted for two blocks apiece.
For the match, the Warriors had 41 kills and hit .304, while UMW had 14 kills and hit a negative-.051 for the match.
Like they did in the first set, the Warriors took control early in the final two sets. UMW had its only lead at 1-0 in the second set, but LCSC quickly turned it into a 13-7 advantage as Greeny went to her bench and used 15 players. LCSC also led 7-1 in the third set.
Theresa Bennett led the Bulldogs with five kills, while Alisha Kearsley had 11 assists. Shelby Mack added 11 digs.
Alyssa Wold and Kim Fong had 12 assists apiece for the Warriors, while Katie Hinrichs had a match-high 16 digs.
The Warriors will play the winner of the Westminster-Montana Tech match on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the semifinals. The championship match of the single-elimination tournament will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday.
LCSC has won the last three conference tournament titles. The tournament winner receives an automatic berth to the national tournament.