LEWISTON – The Warrior defense put in work in what just missed being an epic comeback on Friday night. After trailing 2-0 through the first two sets, LC State fired back with a pair of commanding set wins over the visiting Northwest Eagles before falling in the fifth frame. Northwest took the Cascade Conference match 3-2 (25-19, 25-15, 16–25, 10-25, 16-14).
“Really proud of our response after the first two sets, however, we can’t be satisfied with just getting to the fifth,” Head Coach Katie Palmer said. “One thing this program is going to be known for is our response to adversity and we’re still experiencing some growing pains.”
LC State tallied 14 total blocks (20 block assists and four solo blocks), led by eight by freshman Karissa Lindner. Three Warriors finished the night with double-digit digs, led by Makenzie Stout and Kenzie Dean each with 16.
“Our front line helped shift the momentum once our serve got Northwest out of system,” Palmer explained. “Proud of our block, back row was able to play around them, and it was truly a defensive package we can build on.”
With the loss, LC State is 2-5 on the season and 1-1 in CCC action.
Northwest had the momentum in the first two sets, taking the first 25-19 and then rolling to a 25-15 win in the second. LC State kicked things into gear in the next half of the match to take control on its home court.
A service ace by Natany Felix Guimaraes and block by Lindner and Juliauna Forgach Aguilar had the Warriors out to a 3-0 lead to start the third set, and a kill by Forgach Aguilar and block by Missy Mortensen and Anna Merrill made it 5-1. A Northwest attack error sparked a run of six straight points, fueled by kills by Gianna Anderson, Kierstyn York and Mortensen, to push LC ahead 12-3.
Anderson started a 5-1 rally with a kill to go with an ace by Felix Guimaraes, block by Merrill and Lindner and kill by Forgach Aguilar to make it a 22-10 advantage. Swings by Forgach Aguilar and Anderson ended the frame at 25-16.
The Warriors dominated in the fourth set, starting with a solo block by Lindner. Forgach Aguilar added three kills, and a solo block from Anderson had the lead at 6-2. LC took off with an eight-point run after back-to-back aces by Dean. Forgach Aguilar and Mortensen tallied kills and a block by Mortensen and Merrill made it an 18-7 cushion.
Four consecutive errors by Northwest pushed the score to set-point, 24-9, and Mortensen sent the match to the fifth with a kill at 25-10.
Northwest regained its footing early in the fifth with a 6-4 lead. A kill by Anderson and ace by Katie Rainville had the Warriors ahead 7-6, and Lindner added a kill before assisting on a block by Merrill to make it 10-8.
A 5-2 run by Northwest had the Eagles ahead 14-13. A kill by Anderson knotted the score, but the Eagles tallied the next two to end the match.
Forgach Aguilar led the match with 20 kills on a .320 attack percentage. Anderson added 13 and Mortensen had seven. Sofie Langer and Esther Kailiponi each dealt 18 assists.
“Gianna showed us her poise with only two errors that happened early in the match,” Palmer added. “She’ll find ways to score and put pressure on the other team. She and Jules make a dynamic duo.”
On the defensive side, Dean and Stout each collected 16 digs to go with 15 from Felix Guimaraes. Lindner’s eight blocks topped the night’s leaderboard, and Merrill added six of her own. Mortensen put up five blocks and Forgach Aguilar had three.
Northwest’s Kelsey Moore led the match with 36 digs and Kaitlyn Mickle had 17 kills.
Stay up to date with all things Warrior Athletics at lcwarriors.com and on social media @LCWarriors.