LEWISTON, Idaho – Niurka Toribio put on a tremendous hitting display Saturday at the Activity Center, helping the Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team to a three-set sweep of Montana Western.
Toribio, playing in just her second match of the season, put down a game-high 15 kills and hit at a staggering .481 percentage to help the Warriors (7-5, 4-0 Frontier Conference) overcome an uncharacteristic amount of errors elsewhere in the 25-19, 25-20 and 25-17 wins.
“It feels so good to be back playing for my team,” Toribio said after the match. “When I was not playing I couldn’t do anything to help the team, but we played like we play in the third set.”
Toribio chipped in eight service aces and six digs against the Bulldogs (5-10 overall, 0-3 Frontier Conference) and kept her team afloat through the first two sets when the Warriors were hitting just .150 as a team despite her success.
“We just weren’t connecting,” Warriors coach LaToya Harris said of her team’s early struggles. “We were playing like we had cement blocks in our shoes and just weren’t keeping our feet moving. We needed to push our tempo more, because we’ve been playing a little slow for a while.”
In the 10-minute break between the second and third sets, Harris reminded her team to play with joy and freedom.
“That was just us,” Toribio said of the Warriors in the third set. “That’s how we play.”
Spurred by five consecutive aces by Toribio and a kill by junior setter Naomi Hernandez, the Warriors raced to a 22-11 lead in the third set before finally putting away Montana Western with a number of reserves on the floor.
Hernandez finished with 26 assists in the match, and Brianne Brown and Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy tacked on seven kills apiece.
“I liked how we came out in the third set and had fun,” Harris said. “But there’s still work to do.”
LCSC returns to action with a non-league match at North Idaho College on Tuesday before resuming Frontier Conference play at Rocky Mountain next Friday.