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2023 Season Comes to a Close for Warrior Volleyball

11/7/2023 | Alisha Alexander | Assistant AD – Sports Information
KIRKLAND, Wash. – The 2023 campaign, the first under Warrior great and first-year head coach Katie Palmer, came to a close on Tuesday at the hands of Northwest in the Cascade Conference Tournament, presented by U.S. Bank. LC State battled through four sets before Northwest took the contest by scores of 25-10, 25-17, 21-25, 25-16.

 

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“Overall, I’m filled with thankfulness,” Palmer said. “We talk about that a lot in our program and we define it as ‘Learn from each circumstance.’ Our program has learned a lot in a quick five months and we will continue to find ways to learn to build this back to a championship program. I believe to my core that we are on the right path.”

 

The Warriors finished the season with a record of 10-18 overall. Senior Kenzie Dean left her mark on the program forever as an elite defender, while Juliauna Forgach Aguilar’s breakout season etched her name in the LC State record book as well.

 

“Kenzie Dean is an incredible player that stepped up big tonight in every area of her game, especially in the serve-receive line,” Palmer added. “All season long she has embraced always finding ways to improve and we were able to see that in the third set when she was the catalyst to take one off a tough Northwest team. She’s left her mark on the record book and the hearts of all Warriors.”

 

“Although it didn’t quite end the way we wanted, I am truly grateful for my five years here at LC,” Dean said. “Putting on a Warrior jersey will forever be some of the best moments of my life. I am grateful to have been part of this team and I am so excited to see what these women do in the future.”

 

The match also marked the end of the careers of seniors Ashlee Bachman and Kierstyn York who have both been with the program since their freshman year.

 

“I love watching this team grow. We are not where we want to be yet but I’m thankful to have had Kierstyn and Ashlee for one year to show our newcomers what it means to find ways to contribute through hard work and resiliency,” Palmer said. “I’m going to miss having them at practice every day.”

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Karissa Lindner denied Northwest at the net for the first point of the match before a kill by Forgach Aguilar helped give the Warriors a 3-0 edge. The Eagles responded with six straight to jump in front in the opening set. A kill by Forgach Aguilar cut the NU run before the Eagles stretched the difference back out to 10-4 to force a Warrior timeout. Missy Mortensen blocked a Northwest attack to make it a 12-5 score but the Eagles maintained control to take the first set in commanding fashion.

 

Back-to-back kills by Forgach Aguilar knotted the second frame 4-4 before an Abbey Neff service ace put LC in front 5-4. After falling behind 9-6, The Warriors went on a four-point run aided by a kill by Gianna Anderson and block by Anna Merrill and Lindner to take a 10-9 lead. A pair of kills by Forgach Aguilar kept the lead at one, 15-14, but Northwest gained momentum to pull ahead and close out the set 25-17.

 

The Eagles surged out to a 5-1 lead in the third before Forgach Aguilar tallied a kill and block with Mortensen. The two points paired with Northwest errors to push the Warriors ahead 9-6. NU rallied to tie things up 11-11, but back-to-back swings by Anderson and Merrill put LC back in front 14-12. Blocks by Lindner and Hallie Seaman gave the Warriors a 17-14 advantage and more NU errors moved the score to 23-19. A kill by Anderson and Northwest service error gave LC the set 25-21.

 

A kill by Lindner put the Warriors on the board before back-to-back swings by Forgach Aguilar tied the fourth frame 3-3. Northwest took a 12-6 advantage before a kill by Mortensen and two straight service aces by Katie Rainville cut the deficit to 12-9. The Eagles went on a run to end the LC State season with a 25-16 win in the set.

 

Forgach Aguilar led the match with 17 kills. Esther Kailiponi dealt 12 assists and Rainville had two aces. Natany Felix Guimaraes collected 14 digs to go with Dean’s 12. Lindner totaled five blocks with three assists and two solos.

 

Dean wrapped up her career with 1,659 digs to sit second all-time. Forgach Aguilar’s 2023 resulted in a 3.83 kill per set average that ranks second all-time in a single season at LC State, and her 4.16 points per set ranks eighth.

 

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

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