LCSC splits at opening day of Regionals
SPOKANE – After losing the opener to a team it swept a week ago, the Lewis-Clark State College women's volleyball team bounced back to sweep a team it lost to earlier this season during Thursday's play at the Region I Volleyball Tournament at the Spokane ValleyHub.
The Warriors began pool play in the eight-team tournament by falling to Frontier Conference foe University of Great Falls 29-31, 30-24, 30-27, 30-23, but then LCSC, ranked No. 20 in the NAIA, bounced back to defeat No. 10-ranked Southern Oregon 30-20, 30-28, 30-24.
The split means LCSC still has control of its playoff destiny heading into its final pool match, which is Friday at 9 a.m. against Oregon Institute of Technology.
Great Falls, which also swept Oregon Tech on Thursday night, leads the Pool B standings with a 2-0 mark, while both LCSC and Southern Oregon are 1-1. Oregon Tech is 0-2. Great Falls and Southern Oregon also meet at 9 a.m. on Friday to complete pool play.
In Pool A, College of Idaho, ranked No. 8 in the NAIA, is 2-0 after sweeping both Westminster and Rocky Mountain, who are both 1-1. Both teams defeated Montana Tech, which is 0-2.
The top two finishers in each pool advance to the semifinals on Friday evening with the championship game set for Saturday.
College of Idaho already has clinched the top spot in Pool A, while the winner of Friday morning's Westminster-Rocky Mountain match will be the No. 2 team.
Great Falls can claim the B title with a win over Southern Oregon, while LCSC can claim the No. 2 berth with a win. If both Southern Oregon and LCSC win, they will finish 2-1 in pool play as will Great Falls. That will force a special three-team playoff on Friday afternoon to see who advances.
If LCSC should lose to Oregon Tech, the Warriors would need Great Falls to defeat Southern Oregon, which would leave Southern Oregon, LCSC, and Oregon Tech with 1-2 records, again forcing a playoff.
LCSC, which lost to Southern Oregon during the opening weekend of the season, is 22-6 overall.
In the win over Southern Oregon, the Warriors hit .364 as a team. Sophomore Dana Christiansen led the way with 13 kills in 16 attempts for an .813 hitting percentage. Anile Clemente and Cintia Alessi added 10 kills apiece.
"I think everyone just played their role," LCSC coach Jen Greeny said. "Our setters did a great job of spreading the ball around, our passing was better, our hitters put away the ball, and we played great defense."
Lisa Davis led the Warriors with 27 assists, while Mindy Meyer added 19. Davis also had three service aces, while Lindsay Scott had nine digs. Brittney Kubik added four blocks and six kills.
"I think the team just realized that wasn't us," Greeny said about bouncing back after the loss. "I think they took the challenge that they know they are a better team than that."
In the setback, the Warriors, who swept Great Falls last week in the semifinals of the Frontier Conference tournament, hit only .112 in the second and third games combined. LCSC hit .231 in the fourth game, but Great Falls was able to hit .289.
“We just made the wrong mistakes at the wrong time,” Greeny said. “But credit Great Falls. They played a great match. We just weren’t quite as aggressive as they were.”
Clemente led the Warriors with 16 kills, and played well, according to Greeny. Marie Balmer and Alessi had nine kills apiece, while Julie Maciboba added eight kills.
Davis paced LCSC with 29 assists, while Scott had 24 digs. Alessi had three of LCSC’s six service aces.