Volleyball team has impressive streaks snapped
Some key Rocky Mountain runs on Thursday night ended quite a run for the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball program.
Putting together some scoring runs, the 14th-ranked Bears defeat the No. 7 Warriors 25-16, 25-10, 20-25, 25-16 in the Frontier Conference opener for both teams at the LCSC Activity Center. The victory improves RMC to 12-2 overall and ties it for the most wins currently in the NAIA, while LCSC had its five-match win streak snapped and is 6-3 overall.
The loss snapped three impressive marks in the Warrior program. The setback stopped a 19-match conference win streak dating back to the 2009 season, and also stopped a 25-match win streak against conference foes. LCSC went undefeated in conference play a year ago at 14-0 and also won its three conference tournament matches. In the 2009 season, LCSC won its last five regular-season conference matches and three more in the conference tournament.
The setback also ended an impressive 38-match win streak at home in conference play dating back to the 2006 season.
Playing without injured senior All-American middle blocker Nicole Graybeal, the Warriors had their hands full with a taller RMC squad. Rocky Mountain outblocked LCSC 13-6 and the Warriors finished with a .051 hitting percentage.
“Nerves,” LCSC coach LaToya Harris said. “We were trying to play so well in at home in front of this crowd and at times we were just trying too hard. And then at times we looked a little helpless.”
The Warriors, playing before a boisterous crowd of 744, tied the first game at 7-7 in an early see-saw contest. RMC, however, went on a 9-1 run and the Warriors couldn’t get closer than seven the rest of the way.
RMC’s momentum carried over into the second game went it opened up a 5-0 lead and then used 12 straight points for a 17-2 advantage in rolling to a 2-0 game lead.
After a break, the Warriors used a 5-0 run in the third game for a 10-6 lead. RMC eventually battled back to tie the contest at 13, but a pair of kills be senior outside hitter Kelli Tikker put the Warriors ahead 16-13. Senior outside hitter Lauryn Herrick added three kills down the stretch to help LC claim game three.
The momentum, however, was short lived because RMC scored five straight points early in the fourth game for a 6-1 lead. Another 5-0 run made it 13-5 and the Warriors couldn’t get closer than six as the Bears were able to close out the match.
“We need to be more consistent in our own positions,” said Harris, who added the inconsistency caused her to try a number of substitutions in order to get something going.
Tikker finished with a game-high 18 kills to pace the Warriors, while Herrick added 10. Nevena Dragovic had 20 assists and seven digs, while Herrick led the way with 15 digs, while Kaylee Rector had 14 and Tikker 13.
Harris credited freshman Chelsey Strong and sophomore Liz Clark, both middle blockers, for playing well. Clark had three kills and four block assists, while Strong had four kills and three block assists. Harris also complimented sophomore setter Naomi Hernandez for giving the Warriors some spark.
Sara Brunner led RMC with 12 kills.
The Warriors look to start a new win streak on Saturday when they play host to Carroll College at 2 p.m. at the Activity Center. The first 100 fans through the gate receive a free Pepsi product.