LEWISTON, Idaho – The inconsistency that has plagued the 25th ranked Lewis-Clark State volleyball team in recent weeks reared its head again on Friday night as the Warriors lost a tough five-setter to plucky Carroll College at the Activity Center.
A week after the Warriors suffered their first Frontier Conference loss on the road against MSU-Northern – who LCSC will play on Saturday afternoon – the Saints took the fourth and fifth sets on Friday to win the match.
Lewis-Clark won the first set 25-19 and then dropped the second 25-22. The Warriors roared back with a 25-17 victory in Set 3, but Carroll prevailed 25-20 in the fourth set and 16-14 in the fifth to leave with the win.
LCSC’s record moved to 9-7 overall and 6-2 in Frontier Conference play, where they are now tied with the Saints atop the standings. Carroll improves to 16-6 overall and dealt the Warriors their first home loss at home since Sept. 8, 2011.
“It’s the inconsistency,” Lewis-Clark State coach LaToya Harris said after the match. “We’re playing our own games a little bit and going away from what’s successful.”
It was an especially frustrating defeat for the Warriors, who played their fourth consecutive five-set match in conference play on Friday, given how well they played in the two sets they won.
LCSC hit .351 and .389 in the first and third sets, respectively, but swung to clips of .162, .071 and .156 in the second, fourth and fifth sets.
“Part of it is our hitters being smart and knowing where the block is,” Harris said. “But give them credit. They played really good defense.”
Carroll’s block stiffened at key points in the match, as the Saints stuffed LCSC three times in the fifth set alone, including a combo block by Mo Ritter and Sarah Roshak on match point.
Unforced errors, both on the attack and from the service line, also came back to bite LC against Carroll.
The Warriors made 31 hitting errors – 10 in the fourth set alone – and misfired on 15 serves.
“That’s the match right there,” Harris said.
Niurka Toribio led the Warriors with 19 kills on Friday and also chipped in 15 digs. Brianne Brown and Treneisha Doyle had 17 kills apiece, and Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy (nine kills) and Chelsea Strong (eight) were also effective offensively at times for LCSC, which had 72 kills in the match to 51 for Carroll.
Kathleen Mulligan and Rebecca Sweeney had 10 kills apiece for the Saints.
Lewis-Clark State won’t have much time to dwell on this tough defeat, as MSU-Northern, which was in the stands taking in the match on Friday, will square off with the Warriors on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We just have to start getting the job done,” Harris said.
Note: The Warriors wore pink uniforms Friday night to honor the fight against breast cancer and to promote awareness.