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Dean Climbs the Digs Leaderboard in Warrior Win over OIT

Alisha Alexander | Assistant Athletic Director-Sports Information

LEWISTON – The match got off to a slow start for Lewis-Clark State Volleyball on Saturday, but the Warriors kicked things into gear to take down Oregon Tech 3-1 (12-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20). It was a big night for senior Kenzie Dean as the fifth-year defensive specialist passed current coach Katie Palmer in the Warriors’ all-time ranks in career digs. Dean collected 16 in the match to take over second all-time with 1,593.

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“It was pretty special,” Dean said. “This week I was struggling with the outcome and I was too focused on that, so I had to go back to the process and focus on that instead.”

Dean did not know she passed Palmer’s mark until after the match when the team’s leader broke the news in the locker room.

“Passing her is really special. She was an amazing defender and is an amazing coach, so having her coach me is really special,” Dean added. “We were in the locker room and it was an emotional moment when she told me that I passed her.”

Juliauna Forgach Aguilar had a strong performance with a match-high 23 kills for nearly half of the LC State total of 51. The Warriors had a strong night with contributions from every player on the court.

“I think everyone stepped up when they needed to, and everyone filled the role and did their job which is what we needed against a good team on the other side of the net,” Dean said.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The momentum was not with LC State in the first set of the contest. OIT kicked things off with a 6-1 run before kills by Forgach Aguilar and Karissa Lindner cut the deficit to 7-4. The Owls widened the margin to double-digits at 20-10 and took the frame 25-12.

The Warriors righted the ship in the second set after falling behind 3-0. A service error by OIT was followed by a service ace by Natany Felix Guimaraes, and a block by Kierstyn York and Lindner evened the score before a kill by Lindner put LC in front.

A back-and-forth ensued with the teams trading points until OIT took a 14-11 advantage. Palmer called a timeout to allow LC to regroup, and the Warriors came out of the pause with kills by Forgach Aguilar and Lindner, as well as a block by Lindner and Hallie Seaman, to take a 15-14 lead. Kills by Seaman pushed the advantage to 19-17, and tallies by Gianna Anderson, York and Forgach Aguilar fueled the march to a 25-22 set win.

The teams battled through a tied score in the third frame until a rally by the Owls had OIT up 10-8. LC State answered with an ace by Esther Kailiponi and kills by Forgach Aguilar and Anderson to jump ahead 14-11. Missy Mortensen and York denied OIT at the net at 17-14 to keep the momentum with the Warriors.

A kill by Forgach Aguilar sparked a 6-2 run to close out the set. Kailiponi added another ace to her team-leading total of 19, as did Makenzie Stout, and kills by Lindner and Seaman closed out the 25-20 frame.

The fourth game was another back-and-forth battle until a block by Mortensen and Anderson gave LC a 12-10 advantage. Swings by Forgach Aguilar and Lindner made it 14-11, but OIT pressured the Warriors and took a 20-17 lead.

Trailing 20-18, LC State rallied for seven straight points to take the contest. An Owls error started the run, Forgach Aguilar added three kills, including the game-winner, Mortensen and Anna Merrill put up a block and Anderson dealt a service ace for a 25-20 win.

Forgach Aguilar led all players with 23 kills, one off her career-high, with a .232 attack percentage. Anderson added nine and Lindner tallied eight at .429. Kailiponi dished out 22 assists, Abbey Neff had 14 and Felix Guimaraes had a career-high seven.

Dean’s 16 digs moved her to second all-time (1,593) and Felix Guimaraes matched her for the team-best with 16 of her own. Neff completed her double-double with 13 digs. Mortensen and Lindner each assisted on three blocks.

Molly Grace led OIT with 16 kills and Brooke Cassidy had 22 assists. Grace had a double-double with a match-high 19 digs.

UP NEXT

The Warriors hit the road next weekend for matches at Multnomah and Warner Pacific.

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

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