LA MIRADA, Calif. – The Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team got off to a rough start with two four-set losses at the Biola Summer Slam on Thursday. The No. 8-ranked Warriors first fell to The Master’s College (Calif.) 25-21, 23-25, 27-25, 25-15 and then was topped by No. 24 Westmont College (Calif.) 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17.
LCSC, now 3-3 overall, will look to turn things around as it continues tournament play with two more matches on Friday. The team will square off against No. 23 Cal State San Marcos at 12:30 p.m., followed by an NAIA top-10 matchup against No. 5 Biola University (Calif.) at 4:30 p.m.
Perhaps due to the quality of their opponents, travel fatigue, or a combination of both, the Warriors did not hit well in either match and seemed to fade in the later sets of both contests.
Against The Master’s, LCSC had a hitting percentage of .143 in the opening set, then improved to .176 to win the second, but fell to .060 in the third. In the fourth set, they rebounded to hit an even .200, but were outdone by a breakout .467 hitting clip by The Master’s.
On the match, the Warriors were outhit .227 to .132, though they did hold an 11-10 lead in blocks, and a 10-7 edge in service aces.
The Warriors lost some steam in the third set when they saw a 22-18 lead slip away after being outscored 9-3 over the final volleys.
Freshman Willow Markowitz led the team with 13 kills and a .235 hitting percentage. Chelsea Strong (pictured above) and Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy led with six and five blocks, respectively, while Kaylee Rector had a team-high six service aces and 19 digs.
Sam Dougherty led The Master’s, now 3-0, with 19 kills. Rachel Taylor added 14 kills and hit .423.
Against Westmont, LCSC hit .259 in the first set but failed to keep that pace and ended up being outhit .244 to .203. The Warriors were also out-blocked 5-4, and trailed 9-3 in service aces.
After winning the first set, the Warriors put up a struggle in the second, but were then outpaced by fairly wide margins in the final two sets.
Luebbert-Kennedy and Strong had 14 and 10 kills, respectively, and both finished with hitting percentages right at .500.
Westmont, now 2-0, had four players with kills in double digits. Madison Serrano led with 12, Ciara Turner had 11, and Alexandria Wilson and Heidi Thompson had 10 apiece. Serrano had a match-high five service aces.
Lewis-Clark State’s match against The Master’s was definitely the more competitive of the two as it featured 18 lead changes throughout the sets, while the Westmont contest saw the lead change hands just three times.
The two-day tournament involves 13 teams including host Biola, No. 2 Concordia (Calif.), Concordia (Ore.), Cal State San Marcos, College of Idaho, LCSC, Midland (Neb.), The Master’s, No. 7 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), Southern Oregon, No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.), Westmont, and William Jessup (Calif.).
For more information about the event and scores from other matches on Thursday visit the tournament website.