CALDWELL, Idaho – It took the Lewis-Clark State College women’s volleyball team one match to knock the rust off before it returned to its overpowering ways of prior seasons on Friday at the College of Idaho Classic. The No. 8-ranked Warriors opened their campaign with a three-set loss to Eastern Oregon, but bounced back by sweeping William Jessup later in the day.
(Match 1 Box Score) (Match 2 Box Score)
LCSC, which is in pursuit of its sixth consecutive Frontier Conference title and sixth straight appearance at nationals, fell to Eastern Oregon by scores of 25-19, 25-18, 25-20, and defeated William Jessup (Calif.) 25-9, 25-19, 25-14.
Hitting just .045 on the match, the Warrior hitters couldn’t gain much traction against Eastern Oregon. The team hit .091 in the first set, negative .028 in the second, and .070 in the third. The Mountaineers, led by four blocks from Casey Loper, enjoyed a 7-4 lead in team blocks overall.
The only Warrior hitter to find much success at the net was Willow Markowitz (pictured above), a 6-foot-2 freshman from Calabasas, Calif., who collected 10 kills in 23 attempts with a hitting percentage of .174. No other Warrior hitter finished above .100.
Eastern, which hit .183 overall, was led on offense by Loper who had 10 kills and a .304 hitting mark. Alisha Crane also played well as she had five kills and hit .417.
Mallorie Schoesler led the Warriors with three service aces, although Eastern’s Rebecca Haight matched that total and helped the Mountaineers to an 8-5 lead in aces. LCSC setter Nevena Dragovic led with 19 assists, while Mountaineer defensive specialist Kaitlyn Duncan had a match-high 15 digs.
With the exception of a one point lead early in the second set, the only time the Warriors enjoyed any kind of a lead was early in the third set when they were up 3-0 and 12-10.
The Warriors’ match against William Jessup was a completely different story, however, as the team jumped to leads of 8-1, 12-4, and 21-6 in the first set.
The score in the second set stayed pretty close until LCSC claimed the final six points. The late rally was aided by three kills from Markowitz, who finished with a match-high 14 kills to go with a hitting clip of .391.
Hitting .337 overall, the Warriors continued to roll in the third set and established leads of 12-6 and 18-9.
Alongside Markowitz, Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Reno, Nev., also had a huge match as she turned in nine kills and led with a .562 hitting percentage. Luebbert-Kennedy also led with four blocks,
LCSC held William Jessup to a hitting clip of negative .057 thanks, in part, to the solid back row play of Kaylee Rector who collected a match-high 15 digs. Dragovic led with 29 assists, which was five more than her three-set high of 24 last year.
On Saturday, the Warriors will face tournament host College of Idaho at 10 a.m., followed by No. 10-ranked Vanguard at 2 p.m., both times are Pacific.
In other tournament games on Friday, College of Idaho took down Vanguard 3-1 and William Jewell 3-0, meanwhile Vanguard defeated Eastern Oregon 3-1.