LCSC answers alarm clock to defeat Westminster
LEWISTON, Idaho - Perhaps the Lewis-Clark State College women's volleyball team can be considered a morning person. Or maybe because it was the weekend, the Warriors thought they could sleep in.
Whatever the case, it took LCSC a bit to come to life before the top-seeded Warriors were able to defeat No. 4 seed Westminster 27-29, 25-20, 25-11, 34-32 in a well-played match in the semifinals of the Frontier Conference Tournament on Saturday at the LCSC Activity Center.
The Warriors, winners of 19 straight, advance to the championship Saturday night against No. 3 seed Carroll, which upset No. 2 seed Rocky Mountain in Saturday's second semifinal. The winner of the title match earns an automatic berth to the NAIA national tournament.
LCSC is 27-1 overall while Westminster finishes the season at 12-13.
The Griffins, however, gave the Warriors all they could handle. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set and had set point three times in the fourth set before finally falling.
"I really thought Westminster played extremely well," LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. "They really did a good job of fighting hard and playing hard."
The Warriors trailed by as much as eight at 16-8 in the opening set, but rallied to tie it at 24. The Warriors actually served for the game before Westminster ran off three consecutive points for the win.
"I thought we were pressing a little bit too much early," Greeny said. "I think we played more relaxed in the second and third sets."
The Warriors trailed early in the second set but used a pair of 3-0 runs for a 14-9 advantage. Westminster cut it to 15-13, but the Warriors picked up their passing and net play and was able to pull away.
The third set was all LCSC. The Warriors led 9-0 and Westminster never got closer than eight.
The Warriors also appeared to be ready to roll in the fourth set as they grabbed a 4-0 lead and led by as much as 16-9. Westminster cut the lead, but LCSC went up 24-21 and had two opportunities to close out the match. Westminster answered with the next four points and was serving for the set. Westmisnter also had set point at 27-26 and 28-27, while LCSC had set points at 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33 when it finally closed it out.
"We just made too many errors ourselves," Greeny said. "But I was pleased with our digging. We had 105 digs."
Junior middle blocker Nicole Graybeal, who was named the conference's MVP earlier this week, paced the Warriors with 19 kills and five block assists, while Kelli Tiker added 15 kills and a match-high 28 digs. Lauryn Herrick added 12 kills, seven digs and two of LCSC's six service aces.
Jenna Harp and Kenzie Mitchell had 11 kills apiece for Westminster, while Ercka Evans had another huge match with nine kills, 19 dugs and 34 serve receives.
For the match, LCSC hit .158, while Westminster hit .099. LCSC also had a small advantage in blocks 10-9.