Warriors top Carroll; extend streak to eight
HELENA, Mont. – The Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team took another step toward claiming its fifth straight Frontier Conference regular season title on Saturday. The Warriors knocked off third-place Carroll College in four sets 25-10, 22-25, 25-20, 25-13.
The win pushes the first-place Warriors to 8-1 in league play and 14-3 overall. Having defeated Montana Tech on Wednesday and Rocky Mountain on Thursday, Saturday’s win was LCSC’s third victory in Montana this week.
With its win streak now at eight, the Warriors really seem to be hitting on all cylinders.
“At the beginning of the season the team was just getting the idea of what I want as a coach,” said LCSC head coach LaToya Harris about her players. “Now they understand me, and they respond faster. It is awesome.”
Up against a good blocking team in Carroll, LCSC spread its attack out and finished with five players with five or more kills. Seniors Lauryn Herrick and Brianne Brown led the charge with 13 kills apiece. Herrick had an exceptionally strong night as she hit .400 overall, and had four service aces,
“Everyone was getting kills in the first set,” said Harris. “We were well rounded, and when we do that, that’s when we have those big wins like in the first and fourth sets.”
LCSC, ranked No. 13 in the latest NAIA poll, hit .394 in the first set and finished with a clip of .185 overall. Carroll hit just .034 on the night, but did out-block the Warriors 14-6.
Carroll, ranked No. 24, rebounded after the first set blowout to come away with a win in the second, but was unable to gain much traction in sets three and four.
“In the second set we came out kind of relaxed and Carroll really started competing,” said Harris. “They’re an amazing blocking team, especially when our passes aren’t perfect, so we had to make a few adjustments.”
After winning a fairly close third set, the Warriors added defensive specialists Chelsea Shears and Mallorie Schoesler to the back row. The players helped improve the team’s serve receive and passing and the Warriors rolled with a .360 hitting percentage.
Freshman Chelsea Strong collected a season-high nine kills in the match to go with four blocks, including three solo blocks. Nicole Graybeal added eight kills, two aces, and two blocks; and Kelli Tikker had five kills and 11 digs.
Nevena Dragovic led LC in assists with 36, and Kaylee Rector led the team with 13 digs.
For Carroll, which is now 6-3 in the conference and 13-6 overall, Marki Otteson had eight kills and seven blocks, and Elli Graff had six kills and six blocks.
The Warriors, which have a one-game lead over Rocky in the conference standings, have five matches left on their conference schedule. Next week they’ll host Montana Western on Thursday and then Montana Tech on Saturday.