This Week in Warrior Athletics: busy week for fall teams
MEN’S BASKETBALL – Cannon’s Building Materials Center Tournament at LCSC Activity Center: Friday, Nov. 2, schedule – Carroll vs. Cascade, 5:30 p.m.; Southern Oregon vs. LCSC, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 3 schedule --– Carroll vs. Southern Oregon, 5:30 p.m.; LCSC vs. Cascade, 7:30 p.m.; at Washington State University (exhibition), Sunday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m., Pullman.
VOLLEYBALL – at Montana-Western, Friday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m., Dillon, Mont.; at Montana Tech, Saturday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m.; Butte, Mont.
CROSS COUNTRY – at Region I/Frontier Conference Championships, Saturday, Nov. 3, noon, Olympia, Wash.
GOLF – vs. Corban, Saturday, Nov. 3, Wild Horse Golf Course, Pendleton, Ore.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL – at Boise State University (exhibition), Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 p.m., Boise.
After starting the season with a pair of wins over Malaspina, the Warriors face their toughest stretch of the season with three games in three days, wrapping up action on Sunday in an exhibition game against Washington State University in Pullman.
First, the Warriors will play host to the two-day Cannon’s Building Material Center Tournament at the Activity Center. The pre-determined pairings has it so the two Frontier Conference teams won’t face the two Cascade Conference schools.
In Friday’s play, Carroll College squares off against Cascade College at 5:30 p.m., followed by LCSC and Southern Oregon at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Carroll (3-1 overall) meets Southern Oregon, which will be opening its season in the tournament, while LCSC faces Cascade (2-0 overall) at 7:30 p.m.
Southern Oregon was picked to finish in the middle of the Cascade Conference in the coaches’ preseason poll, while Cascade was picked to finish second-to-last. Cascade has defeated Bethany College and Walla Walla University, and has another game with Walla Walla University on Thursday before the tournament.
Carroll went 2-1 against Canadian schools, losing to the University of Calgary in overtime, before bouncing back to defeat South Dakota School of Mines. Carroll was picked to finish third in the Frontier Conference’s preseason coaches’ poll, while LCSC was picked to defend its conference title.
The Warriors defeated Malaspina University by 50 points, 115-65 in its season opener, but had a much tougher time against the Mariners in their second meeting. LCSC actually trailed by a point in the second half, but reeled off 23 straight points and eventually won by 31.
Sunday’s game against WSU in Beasley Coliseum will be a rough task for the Warriors. WSU is ranked as high as No. 10 in some NCAA Division I polls and returns several players from last year’s NCAA Tournament squad.
Senior forward Mike Gordy, who earned second team NAIA All America honors last season, leads the Warriors in scoring with an average of 24.5 points per game, while junior guard Dorian Watson is at 21.5 points per game.
One concern for Warrior coach Tim Walker is that in the two games to start the season, LCSC allowed its opponent to shoot 52.5 percent from the field. Last season, the Warriors were second in the nation in field goal percentage defense at 40.2 percent.
The Warriors look to capture the Frontier Conference title this week as they close out the regular season on the road.
LCSC, which remained No. 3 in the Region I standings on Monday behind the College of Idaho and Southern Oregon, are tied for first place in the standings with Westminster as both are 10-2. The two also embark on the same road trip this weekend.
Montana-Western, LCSC’s opponent on Friday, is still looking for its first win of the season. The Bulldogs are 0-11 in conference play and 0-22 overall. Saturday’s opponent, Montana Tech, still is in the title chase as well. The Orediggers are 9-3 in league play and if they can sweep Westminster and LCSC this week, they would be guaranteed no worse than a tie for first.
If LCSC, 16-5 overall, and Westminster remain tied for the title, LCSC would earn the conference’s top seed to the conference tournament, based on sweeping Westminster in their two matches this season. If LCSC, Westminster and Montana Tech all wind up 9-3, the Warriors also would receive the top seed based on its 3-1 record against the other two teams.
The only way Westminster can win the title is to win both of its games and have LCSC lose to Montana Tech. Tech’s title hopes rely on LCSC losing both of its matches this week.
“We have to play really focused at Montana Tech because it is a tough place to play,” :LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. “We need to just lay it all on the line.”
The Warriors are riding a three-match win streak into the week. They defeated both Rocky Mountain and Carroll College this past week to finish perfect at home this season with a 7-0 record.
As a team, LCSC ranks No. 22 in the NAIA in kills per game at 14.7, and is No. 23 in assists per game at 13.3. LCSC is also averaging 2.4 service aces per game, a number that has been steadily climbing this season.
Senior Brittney Kubik ranks No. 22 in blocks per game at 1.5. The team has six players with 100 or more kills, led by Anile Clemente with 203, while Julie Maciboba has 189. That balance also carries over into assists where three Warrior setters have at least 200 assists, including Lisa Davis, who has a team high of 464. Maciboba has the team lead in aces with 41, while Cintia Alessi has 34. Alessi also has 341 digs this season, while Lindsay Scott has 290.
The Frontier Conference tournament will be Nov. 8-10 in Billings, Mont. The following weekend will be the Region I tournament in Spokane. If LCSC finishes first or second in the conference standings, it will receive an automatic berth to the Region I tournament. The top two finishers as well as the top finisher in the conference tournament that didn’t finish first or second during the regular season advance to the Region I tournament.
FRONTIER CONFERENCE STANDINGS – LCSC 10-2, 16-5; Westminster 10-2, 18-6; Montana Tech 9-3, 17-7; Rocky Mountain 8-5, 13-14; Great Falls 7-6, 13-11; Carroll 3-10, 9-16; Montana State-Northern 2-10, 4-18; Montana-Western 0-11, 0-22.
The Warrior men and women begin the postseason this weekend when they take part in the Region I/Frontier Conference championships on Saturday in Olympia, Wash. Even though its just one race, it will decide both championships.
The Warrior men and women will be the overwhelming favorites to win the Frontier Conference title. All conference teams participated in the LCSC Invitational and the Warriors won easily won both titles at least 50 points.
The LCSC men also will be favored in the Region I race, but the women will have a much tougher time with four-time defending national champion Simon Fraser, along with the University British Columbia in the race. Simon Fraser, UBC, and LCSC are ranked first through third, respectively in the Region I rankings.
“As the most established team in the conference, we should be (the favorite),” LCSC coach Mike Collins says about the Frontier Conference championships. “Great Falls and Carroll both have some runners that will impact scoring as well as Westminster, but right now we are probably too deep for them to have too much of an impact. In addition, our experience should help as well. None of these teams have run in a meet with this high of a caliber field all year, so you never know with younger programs how they will respond to that.”
The regional scoring portion of the race is more up in the air, Collins says.
“The regional race is much more “iffy” as to what could happen,” he said. “The men have a legitimate shot of winning the regional title, but depending on the races of the other teams as well as our own it is not far-fetched to see us finishing fourth or fifth as well. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, but we can only control how we run, not the running of the others.
“The women’s race is much the same. We are ranked third in the region, but there are three other teams that all have the talent to beat us. Eastern Oregon, College of Idaho ,and Corban all have very good teams and all of us know that we are running to qualify for nationals. Simon Fraser and UBC are likely shoe-ins for nationals and our regional will likely get a third team, maybe a fourth team, but a fifth is a long-shot.”
Collins said the Warriors are coming off their best workouts of the year last week so the team should be ready.
The national meet will be Nov. 17 in Kenosha, Wis.
The Warriors wrap up the fall portion of the schedule in a small meet at the Wild Horse Golf Course in Pendleton on Saturday.
The 18-hole event also features Corban with tee times starting at noon in the men’s and women’s tournament.
The next meet for the Warriors won’t be until late February when the spring portion of the schedule begins.
The Warriors have only one game this week and it’s an exhibition game. However, this game will likely be the Warriors’ toughest challenge this season.
LCSC heads to Boise on Sunday to take on Boise State. Because Boise State is an NCAA team, it will count as an exhibition game for both teams.
Boise State won the Western Athletic Conference title a year ago and has been chosen in the coaches’ and media preseason polls to repeat that feat.
In addition, BSU junior guard Jessica Thompson has been chosen as the favorite to win the Conference’s Player of the Year award, and junior point guard Tasha Harris was chosen to the preseason All-WAC team.
The two teams met a year ago as well and Boise State cruised to an easy win.
The Warriors are 2-0 on the season after blowing out the University of British Columbia-Okanagan twice last weekend. In the two ballgames, the Warriors forced 89 turnovers, which led to numerous fastbreak opportunities.
After the two games, LCSC is averaging 97 points per game and has six players averaging at least 9.5 points per game, led by Mandy Troutt’s 17.5 points per game average.
The Warrior women will next play at home against on Nov. 16-17 in the Staples Classic, taking on Pacific University and Walla Walla College.