LEWISTON – Victory number one is in the books for the 2023 LC State Volleyball team and first-year head coach Katie Palmer. The Warriors made quick work of the Walla Walla University Wolves in a 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-19) sweep to open the season and Cascade Conference action. LC tallied 12 service aces and Juliauna Forgach Aguilar tied a career-high with 12 kills in the match.
“Today was a total team effort,” Palmer said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the leadership from the returners and the poise of our newcomers. Setters distributed the ball well with the team hitting nearly .300 and got our middles involved. All three of our liberos saw the court and did a tremendous job. I couldn’t be prouder of this team.”
The stands were packed with an attendance of 456 fans on the final weekend of summer break. LC State freshmen students were able to experience their first Warrior sporting event and had plenty to cheer about. The excitement will carry over to Saturday when the Warriors take on former Frontier Conference for Montana Western.
“The P1FCU Activity Center was electric with a huge student crowd and great community support,” Palmer added. “We’re going to need that same support tomorrow as we face the toughest Montana Western team I’ve seen in quite some time. As a team, we’ll need to keep the ball in play and put pressure on their passing through our serve. I’m looking forward to the challenge as we continue to have a sole focus on improvement throughout this season.”
Walla Walla took a 2-1 lead in the first set before LC State responded with a 5-1 run to put the Warriors in front 6-3. Katie Rainville notched the first kill of the season for LC State before Forgach Aguilar dealt back-to-back service aces. An ace by Rainville capped the early run. The teams traded points before a pair of kills by Kierstyn York sparked a nine-point rally to push the margin to 17-7.
Back-to-back swings by freshmen Karissa Lindner and Gianna Anderson made it a 22-12 advantage before a kill by Forgach Aguilar and WWU errors closed out the opening frame 25-15.
An ace by Forgach Aguilar, kills by Kindner and Anna Merrill, and a block by York and Lindner gave the Warriors a 5-2 edge in the second set. A pair of kills by Forgach Aguilar stretched the advantage to 11-7, and a kill by Rainville started a run of five that was aided by kills from Abbey Neff and Lindner to make it 17-10.
Merrill, Anderson and York tallied three straight kills, and Anderson added two more and an ace before Forgach Aguilar ended the set with a swing to push the score to 25-12.
A kill by Merrill opened the final set before two kills and an ace by Rainville had the score knotted 4-4. Walla Walla kept things close early in the frame before kills by Anderson, York and Forgach Aguilar, along with a block by York and Hallie Seaman, gave LC an 18-12 cushion.
Natany Felix Guimaraes dealt an ace to make it 21-15, and kills by Forgach Aguilar and Merrill ended the match with a final set score of 25-19.
Forgach Aguilar led the match with 12 kills on a .409 attack percentage. York also tied a career-high with seven kills to match Anderson’s total. Rainville had four kills on six swings (.667) and led the Warriors with four service aces.
Neff and Sofie Langer split time at setter. Neff led the match with 17 assists and Langer added 14.
The Warriors return to action on Saturday when they close out the weekend against Montana Western at noon. The team will sign posters for fans after the match. Ticket and streaming packages are on sale now at lcwarriors.com.
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