Warriors finish strong to get past Great Falls in five
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team received a boost from its bench when it needed it most against the University of Great Falls on Friday night. After splitting the first four sets, the Warriors, sparked by the play of non-starter Kaytlyn Coleman, went on a roll in set five and ended up topping the Argos by a final score of 25-18, 26-28, 25-17, 19-25, 15-5.
“I subbed Kaytlyn in to start the fifth set, and she brought the fire that we needed terribly,” said LCSC head coach LaToya Harris. “I told her, ‘I want you to block the ball, and that’s all,’ and that’s what she did.”
Coleman, a freshman from Ellensburg, Wash., was credited with just one solo block but had multiple touches at the net and helped swing momentum in LCSC’s favor in such a way that the Warriors pounded out a .444 hitting percentage in the fifth set despite hitting just .212 on the night.
The Warriors, standing first in the Frontier Conference standings with a 11-1 league mark and 17-3 record overall, have now won 11 consecutive matches.
Lauryn Herrick led LCSC with 14 kills, Nevena Dragovic had a team-high 34 assists, and Kelli Tikker and Kaylee Rector had 15 and 13 digs, respectively.
The Warriors finished with a season-high 14 blocks overall.
“It’s a very loud gym and it echoes, so it was intense,” said Harris about the Argos’ venue. “One thing I would say is that we did a good job of keeping our composure throughout the match. We did struggle with our serve-receive, but we blocked extremely well.”
Kelli Tikker finished with 12 kills and .320 hitting percentage, Nicole Graybeal had 10 kills with a .471 clip, and Chelsea Strong had five kills in eight attempts for a hitting percentage of .500. All three players had three solo blocks apiece.
Great Falls, now 6-5 and 21-6, was led by Kelsey VanUden and Tosha Nunes who had 15 and 14 kills, respectively. The Argos had eight blocks and 12 service aces on the night, but hit just .082 including a negative .267 in the final set.
“The neat thing about tonight is that it shows our bench is deep.”
The Warriors will be back in action on Saturday as they face MSU-Northern in Havre, Mont., at 1 p.m., pacific time. With a win over the Skylights, Lewis-Clark State will clinch at least a share of the regular season conference title. This would be the team’s fifth straight championship.