LC makes adjustments to defeat Carroll in five
They might have been small adjustments, but they had a big effect, especially with momentum.
After falling in games two and three, the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team came roaring back and defeated Carroll 25-17, 20-25, 21-25, 25-17, 15-7 in Frontier Conference play at the LCSC Activity Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors, ranked No. 7 in the NAIA, improve to 1-1 in conference play and 7-3 overall, while Carroll, which received votes in the poll, also is 1-1 and now 8-4 overall.
LCSC started the match off strong in the opening game, but the Saints controlled game two. LCSC led early in the third game, but then fell behind. After cutting Carroll’s lead to 22-21, the Warriors watched the Saints run off three straight points for the win and grab the momentum.
“We talked to them about some adjustments we needed to make on defense and what to run on offense, and they listened,” LCSC coach LaToya Harris said of her club. “We did the things we needed to do and got the momentum.”
The match marks the fourth time LCSC has played five sets this season and the Warriors’ mark stands at 2-2 in those matches.
“We like to keep the fans on their toes,” Harris joked.
Still, the Warriors were calm entering the fourth game despite being down to Carroll.
“It shows the character of our team,” Harris said. “And I think when we get in that situation again, we know how to handle it and win.”
LCSC was again playing without senior All-American middle blocker Nicole Graybeal, who suffered a foot injury in a tournament during the opening weekend, but had a number of players step up and fill her absence.
Seniors Kelli Tikker and Lauryn Herrick both again were strong, and junior right-side hitter Brianne Brown stepped up big with six kills in the fourth game. Tikker finished with team-highs of 13 kills and 24 digs, and also added three service aces and a .219 hitting percentage. Herrick had 12 kills and five service aces, while Brown added 12 kills, three digs and three assists.
“We have a lefty on the court and that turns the court around so we have to utilize her,” Harris said of Brown. “She did an amazing job for us. Everyone really helped out and contributed in this match.”
Katlyn Coleman added eight kills and a .438 hitting percentage for LCSC, while Nevena Dragovic had 22 assists and nine digs. Kaylee Rector added 17 digs, while Chelsea Strong and Coleman had 1.5 blocks apiece. Carroll outblocked LCSC 8-6, but LCSC had 10 service aces to three for Carroll.
The Warrior also hit .500 in the final match while Carroll hit .000 in the final two matches.
Tikker and Herrick combined for eight kills in the opening game to help LCSC take a 5-4 lead and roll. After Carroll took the next two games, the fourth game was tied seven times before Tikker served six straight points for a 13-7 Warrior lead. LCSC stretched the advantage of as much as 10 behind Herrick’s serving at 23-13. Carroll made a small run before LCSC closed out the game.
In the fifth game, the contest was tied five times before back-to-back kills by Herrick and Coleman put the Warriors ahead 7-5. After a Carroll point, LCSC used kills by Herrick, Rector and Tikker during a 4-0 run to take control at 11-5. Carroll cut it to 11-7, but LCSC rolled off the next four points, including one on an ace from Herrick, to close out the match.
Markki Otteson of Carroll finished with a game-high 15 kills and five blocks, while Kristin Telin added 13 kills.
The Warriors hit the road for their next two matches as they take on Montana Western in Dillon at 6 p.m. Friday night, and then head to Butte, Mont., on Saturday to face Montana Tech at 1 p.m.