Warriors serve up a sweep of Skylights
LEWISTON, Idaho – The Warriors’ solid serving and quick tempo attack was too much for Montana State University-Northern to handle at the Activity Center on Saturday afternoon. With a season-high 12 service aces, the Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team blew past MSU-Northern 25-12, 25-12, 28-26.
With two wins over solid teams this week, and both by way of sweep, all signs point to the fact that the No. 14-ranked Warriors are really heating up.
“This week we’ve been finding a flow in practice and in matches,” said LCSC head coach LaToya Harris. “And if we play at our tempo, we will be hard to stop.”
The Warriors hit .362 in their 3-0 rout of Great Falls on Thursday and on Saturday they finished with a hitting percentage of .310. Though they hit well on Saturday, what really stood out was the way they served.
“We worked on serving a lot on Friday and that showed today,” said Harris. “We were controlled. We had certain serve targets and we were able to hit them.”
Junior libero Kaylee Rector (above photo) was one of three Warriors with an ace on Saturday as she finished with a career-high six. Lauryn Herrick, who leads the Frontier Conference with 0.6 aces per set, had four; and Kelli Tikker added two.
With its service game putting the Skylights on their heels, Lewis-Clark State had numerous attack options and ended up sharing the ball pretty evenly among its front row players. Nicole Graybeal and Brianne Brown had eight kills apiece, Tikker had seven, Herrick had five, and Liz Clark had four.
Graybeal and Brown helped keep the team’s hitting percentage above .300 as they hit .500 and .412, respectively.
Nevena Dragovic finished with 24 assists, which now stands as the team’s three-set high this season.
MSU-Northern, 11-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play, hit just .011 on the day. Kelsey Williams, who played her freshman season with the Warriors last year, led the Skylights with seven kills.
Rector’s 16 digs, a team season high for a three-set match, was one reason for Northern’s low hitting clip as was the Warriors’ pressure at the net. LCSC had four blocks overall including two from Graybeal.
Lewis-Clark State hit .364 and .478 in the first and second set, respectively, and quickly grabbed a 2-0 lead. Lineup switches and a .179 hitting percentage kept the Warriors from breaking away from Northern in the third set.
With the score knotted at 26, Graybeal and Brown came up with a block to take the lead, and Rector followed with a service ace for the win.
The victory lifts the Warriors to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference. Lewis-Clark State’s next match will be on Friday against Westminster College at 7 p.m. inside the LCSC Activity Center.