LEWISTON, Idaho – Brianne Brown scored five of Lewis-Clark State’s last six points and Niurka Toribio had 11 kills and hit for a .286 percentage in her first action of the season as the Warriors swept Westminster in three games on Thursday night at the Activity Center.
A balanced Warrior offense got 11 kills apiece from Brown, Toribio and Treneisha Doyle and hit .245 as a team en route to the 25-20, 26-24 and 25-23 victories.
“I liked how we started out. We were just playing LC volleyball,” Warrior head coach LaToya Harris said. “We got a little tense in the second set and got away from what made us successful, but we have smart hitters and a lot of threats.”
Lewis-Clark State improved to 6-5 overall and 3-0 in the Frontier Conference with the sweep, its 17th consecutive victory over the Griffins (8-5, 1-1 Frontier), a streak dating back to 2006.
The Warriors took the first set, powered by four kills from Doyle and three from Toribio, making her first appearance of the young season.
Toribio, a junior college transfer from Snow College via the Dominican Republic, had back-to-back kills to give LCSC a 9-5 lead.
“We were excited to have her back. It was about time,” Harris said. “She brings a lot of positive energy to our team.”
Lewis-Clark State held on for a 26-24 victory in the second set after allowing the Griffins to take their first lead since very early in the first set at 21-20 on an ace by Westminster’s Ashley Marchant.
The Warriors were sloppy at times, making 34 total errors in the match, but righted the ship just in time.
Doyle had a huge kill to put the Warriors back up 22-21, and Brown chipped in consecutive left-handed winners to make it 24-23.
Westminster rallied back again, but Ali Hubert scored on a tip and libero Chelsea Shears made a huge dig on set point to keep the final rally alive.
Toribio pounded down her sixth kill of the match to give the Warriors the two-set advantage.
In the third set the Warriors again found themselves trailing late, as Katie Vance’s kill put Westminster in front 21-17.
That’s when Brown, one of LCSC’s two seniors (Kaylee Rector), took control.
“She’s one of our leaders, and we pulled her off for a minute to let her know that she had to step up,” Harris said. “She truly believed that she had to do it for her team.”
Brown answered the call.
After Doyle unleashed a couple of missiles to bring the Warriors to within two, Brown followed with two kills of her own to tie the set at 22.
Westminster got one back on an LC hitting error, but a serving error by the Griffins knotted things back up at 23.
Brown’s tip pushed the Warriors to set point, and then she put the cap on the evening with a block to complete the sweep.
“They’re a very good defensive team, so we had to be ready at all times,” Harris said.
Kenzie Mitchell led Westminster with 11 kills and chipped in two blocks.
Nevena Dragovic had 29 assists for Lewis-Clark State and Ali Hubert filled in ably at the setter position late in the second set and early in the third.
“She stepped up tremendously,” Harris said of Hubert, a sophomore. “She did a really good job running our offense and playing with our blockers.”