Warriors make quick work of foes to open Labor Day Classic
BELLEVUE, Neb. – The Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team seemed to keep laboring to a minimum at the Bruin Labor Day Classic on Friday. The seventh-ranked Warriors opened the event with a 25-16, 26-24, 25-17 sweep of Grand View University and then followed with a 25-18, 25-16, 27-29, 25-16 four-set win over No. 20 Dordt College.
“We played well and had many players step up,” said LCSC head coach LaToya Harris. “I was very happy with how today ended up.”
The two wins lift the Warriors to 4-2 on the year and give them good footing as they head into two tough matches on Saturday. At 9 a.m. they’ll face No. 15 Northwestern College and then at 1 p.m. they’ll wrap up the tournament by facing host Bellevue University (ranked No. 16). Both times are pacific.
The Warriors squared off against an undefeated foe in Grand View (now 5-1) but were able to keep the Vikings’ offense off balance. Grand View hit just .027 overall including a negative .056 clip in the first set. The Warriors hit just .179, but had a 11-7 edge in blocks and a 6-2 advantage in service aces.
“We came out fired up the first set, and everything just kept rolling,” Harris said. “In the second set we relaxed a little bit, got behind a little, and had to push to finish... We regrouped in the third, changed our offense some, and served aggressively and that brought our flow back.”
LCSC cruised with comfortable leads in sets one and three and faced its only real deficit during the second set. After falling behind 18-13 and then 22-17, the Warriors scored four in a row to cut the lead to 22-21. From here the teams stayed close until Kelli Tikker and Kaytlyn Coleman combined for three straight kills to end the set.
Tikker hit .250 to lead the team in total kills with 10, while Brianne Brown and Lauryn Herrick had eight kills apiece and hitting percentages of .389 and .273, respectively. Devon Jensen led Grand View with nine kills.
Ali Hubert, who had a match-high three aces, led LC with 14 assists, while Nevena Dragovic had 12. Tikker and Herrick led with 10 digs apiece, and Chelsea Strong led with seven block assists.
Lewis-Clark State’s second match of the day was similar to its first one in that the Warriors didn’t hit an exceptionally high percentage (.208), but they served well and played strong enough defense to keep the opponent’s offense from finding a rhythm.
Dordt hit just .083 overall, including a negative .061 clip in the second set, and this helped the Warriors run away with sets one, two, and four. In the third, both teams hit .111 and the lead changed hands seven times before Dordt finally clinched the set with a service ace.
The Warriors’ offense was paced by a huge match from Tikker. The senior used a .400 hitting percentage to pound her way to a match-high 18 kills.
“Kelli was basically camped on the blockers and they couldn’t stop her,” said Harris. “She also served great which kept our offense going.”
Lewis-Clark State was out-blocked 7-6, but enjoyed a 10-2 advantage in service aces. Herrick and Chelsea Shears had three aces apiece, while Tikker and Hubert each had two.
Dragovic led with 29 assists, and Tikker topped the team with 13 digs.
Liz Clark collected four kills and four blocks as she helped fill in for starting middle blocker Nicole Graybeal who was on the sideline with a foot injury. The extent of Graybeal’s injury is unknown at this time. She sat out both games on Friday as a precaution.