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2023 Cascade Conference Volleyball Tournament Preview

11/6/2023 | Randy Isbelle | Sports Information Intern
KIRKLAND, Wash. – LC State Volleyball earned a spot into the Cascade Conference Volleyball Championship, presented by US Bank, for the third consecutive season and will open postseason play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when it takes on fifth-seeded Northwest.



“As a program, we’ve put our focus on playing great volleyball in November and I think we’re heading that direction,” Palmer said. “We gained a lot of confidence over the course of the last three weeks of the regular season.”


LC STATE – 10-17, 9-13 – No. 8 SEED

The Warriors battled through loads of uncertainty under first-year head coach Katie Palmer and a roster that saw more new players than returners. The season has proven to be a roller coaster ride.


After starting the season 3-5, LC State went on a six-game losing streak where it won just one set. The Warriors bounced back and won four consecutive straight-set matches. The roller coaster continued with four losses in a row, followed by three victories before dropping back-to-back matches to conclude the regular season.


The two losses at the end of the season showed a lot of promise for the squad. LC State pushed No. 3 Eastern Oregon to four sets before taking the first two sets against fourth-seeded College of Idaho.


The Warriors are led offensively by sophomore Juliauna Forgach-Aguilar who finished second in the CCC with 3.81 kills per set; a mark that has Forgach-Aguilar second all-time in the Warrior record books behind Kennadie Clute who averaged 3.95 kills per set in 2015.


Forgach Aguilar finished the regular season with 370 kills, 78 digs and 39.0 blocks.


Libero Kenzie Dean marched up the Warrior record books, surpassing coach Palmer for second all-time on the Warrior digs list. The 366 digs for the fifth-year senior moved her total to 1,647 in her career. Dean finished ninth in the conference with 3.94 digs per set.


Three freshmen made large impacts for LC State. Gianna Anderson was second on the team with 230 kills, she also had 17 aces on the year. Makenzie Stout was one of three players to participate in all 97 sets and had 21 aces. Karissa Lindner led the team with 74.0 blocks.


The Warriors were strong at the service line with 159 aces, the 1.64 aces per set finished fifth in the conference. Nine players on LC State finished with double digit aces on the season led by Esther Kailiponi with 23.


NORTHWEST – 17-10, 14-8 – No. 5 SEED

The Eagles finished above .500 for the first time since 2018 with the help of sweeping the season series against the Warriors. It took a 16-14 fifth set for Northwest to escape with a victory at the P1FCU Activity Center on Sept. 1, but the Eagles were able to blank LC State at home on Oct. 7.


Northwest led the CCC in aces with 197. Masa Spela-Jarc led the conference with 41 aces and 0.41 aces per set. Savannah Hale was second in aces per set with 0.36. Allie Flynn finished seventh at 0.33.


Sophomore Kaitlyn Mickle is the Eagles’ biggest offensive threat. Mickle is fourth in the conference with 330 kills and 3.27 kills per set. Kelsey Moore finished second in the CCC with 5.26 digs per set.


Northwest is 9-2 at the Kristi Brodin Pavilion.


“We know we have a battle ahead of us with a very disciplined Northwest team,” Palmer said. “Especially in their gym, and we’re up to the challenge.”



The Warriors and Eagles will play in the opening round on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. scheduled first serve. The winner will travel to La Grande, Ore., for the rest of the tournament. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on Friday. The championship match will be played at 3 p.m. on Saturday.


If LC State were to win on Tuesday, it would play on Friday at 9 a.m. against third-seeded No. 16 Southern Oregon in the quarterfinals.


Stay up to date with all things Warrior Athletics at and on social media @LCWarriors.



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