Warriors swing way to sweep in home opener
LEWISTON, Idaho – After playing its first eight matches of the season on the road, the Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team was at home on Friday night and seemed to enjoy every minute of it. The Warriors used an explosive offense to sweep the University of Great Falls 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 in what was both their home and Frontier Conference opener.
LCSC, which is in its pursuit of a sixth straight regular season conference crown, moves to 1-0 in league play and 4-5 overall. Great Falls dips to 0-1 and 9-6.
Finishing with a .322 hitting percentage, their second highest total this season, the Warriors seemed to keep getting better as the match went on.
“I would say that after the first set the match went smoothly,” LCSC head coach LaToya Harris said. “We had to make some adjustments from the first set to get control. We had to attack well to get them out of their game.”
Hitting only .194, the Warriors found themselves in an 18-13 hole in the first set, but were able to climb out by winning 12 of the last 17 volleys. Great Falls started off pretty strong in the second set as well, but again LCSC rallied and used a 7-1 run in the middle of the set to turn the tide. The third set was all LCSC as it used a .459 hitting clip to complete the sweep.
Four Warriors finished with hitting marks over .300, however, Treneisha Doyle (pictured above), a freshman from Vancouver, Wash., stole much of the show with her 16 kills. The 5-foot-9 outside hitter ended up hitting .343 on the night.
“I knew she had it in her,” said Harris. “She’s very powerful, can really jump, and she swings well. We wanted her to concentrate on aggressive swings tonight, instead of tip shots, and she did very well.”
Willow Markowitz, Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy, and Brianne Brown finished with eight kills apiece. Markowitz and Luebbert-Kennedy hit .375 and .357, respectively.
Warrior setter Nevena Dragovic also had a very strong night as she collected six kills and had a .545 hitting percentage to go with a match-high 38 assists.
The Warriors’ back-row players did their part as well and were able to hold the Argos to a .168 hitting clip overall. Led by 18 from Kaylee Rector, LCSC had a 46-42 edge in digs.
The only Great Falls’ player who found much success against LCSC’s defense was senior Kelsey Van Uden. Van Uden, last week’s Frontier Player of the Week and an honorable mention NAIA All-American last season, finished with a team-high 14 kills and a .357 hitting percentage.
Blocks didn’t play a huge role in the match as both teams finished with just four apiece. In service aces, LCSC held a slim 5-3 advantage, with two of the aces coming from Doyle.
A crowd of 544 was in attendance, including a strong showing in the student seating section.
“There were a lot of students, and that was great to see,” Harris said. “To have them come out and support us like that is great.”
The Warriors will return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they face another conference foe in Montana Tech.