HELENA, Mont. – Carroll College proved once again to be a tough matchup for the Lewis-Clark State College volleyball team. After clinching the Frontier Conference regular season championship the day before, the Warriors were swept by the Saints on Saturday afternoon 25-17, 25-14, 25-21.
The loss moves LCSC to 11-4 in league play and 15-9 overall, while Carroll improves to 11-5 and 21-9. The result of Saturday’s match does not alter the final conference standings, but it could supply some momentum for the Saints heading into the conference tournament next weekend in Butte, Mont.
The Warriors will be the No. 1 seed and will be looking for their first tournament title since 2010. Last season, LCSC fell to Rocky Mountain in five sets in the title match after winning the four conference tournaments before that.
Lewis-Clark State was hoping to cap its regular season by avenging a five-set loss to Carroll at home earlier this year, however, the Saints again used their size and pressure at the net to thwart the Warrior attack.
Carroll, which ranks second in blocks in the conference behind only Rocky Mountain, held a 15-3 advantage in blocks in the teams’ first meeting and used a 13-3 edge to outpace LCSC on Saturday.
Mo Ritter and Elli Graff led the Saints with seven and five blocks, respectively.
Carroll’s defense held the Warriors to a .037 hitting percentage, their lowest total of the conference season. Three Warriors finished with negative hitting percentages.
Keisha Luebbert-Kennedy was one of the few Warriors to find some success on offense. The 6-foot-3 freshman hit .150 with a team-high 10 kills. Willow Markowitz added four kills in six attempts to hit .500.
Rebecca Sweeney led the Saints, which hit .231 on the day, with 10 kills and a solid .375 hitting clip.
The Warriors will open tournament play on Friday against the winner of Thursday’s play-in match between No. 8 Montana Western and No. 9 Dickinson State.