BUTTE, Mont. – The No. 24 Lewis-Clark State volleyball team struggled with accuracy throughout the day Saturday during a five-set loss to Montana Tech, hitting just .060 as a team in the match.
Once again the Warriors were inconsistent during the match, putting together solid performances in the second and fourth sets while having trouble executing in the others.
“It’s the same thing it’s been all season,” LCSC coach LaToya Harris said. “We have moments of brilliance and moments of inconsistency. When you barely hit over .100 except for one set, you can’t beat anybody with that.”
The Warriors fell to 12-8 overall and 8-3 in the Frontier Conference with just four matches remaining in the regular season. LCSC entered Saturday on a three-match winning streak, two of those in league play.
The loss will not cost Lewis-Clark State first place. Carroll and MSU-Northern, the two teams tied behind the Warriors for second place at 7-4, play each other later Saturday in Helena.
The Orediggers improved to 15-9 overall and 5-7 in league play. Montana Tech has played better volleyball in the second half of the season after a 1-6 start to Frontier Conference play. They have now won four of their past five matches.
The Warriors made 50 overall in the match (41 hitting, eight serving and one blocking) and two of their top three hitters on the floor Saturday had more errors than kills.
Harris said the team is over-thinking the game.
“You’re supposed to go through all the technique stuff and location in practice and in the games, you just play,” Harris said. “We’re over-playing and our game plan wasn’t being followed when it was needed.”
The Orediggers won the first set 25-23, but the Warriors knotted the match after winning Set 2 25-13. LCSC hit -.103 in a 25-20 third set loss, but sent it to a fifth set with a 25-21 win in Set 4.
Things were tied at five in the fifth set, but Montana Tech took a four-point lead late and LCSC couldn’t come back.
The Warriors had a season-high 12 blocks, led by five from Chelsea Strong, who was also the only Lewis-Clark State hitter to swing over .200 for the day.
“She’s starting to get in a rhythm and improve,” Harris said of the sophomore from Gresham, Ore. “She’s doing a great job.”
The Warriors come back home for a pair of home matches this week, battling Dickinson State at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Rocky Mountain at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The match against Dickinson State will be Senior Night for the team, and the Warriors will honor Brianne Brown and Kaylee Rector during the proceedings.