LEWISTON, ID - The Lewis-Clark State volleyball team pushed its winning streak to five matches on Friday with a 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-22, 25-22) victory over NCAA Division III Whitworth. Brooke Kaawa notched her third double-double of the season with a team-leading 15 kills and 25 digs. The senior outside hitter finished the match tied with the Warrior libero for the lead in digs.
“Kudos to Brooke,” coach Shaun Pohlman said. “That’s big time. We needed her to step up and be a six-rotation player and stay in it. If we can keep getting that out of her day-in and day-out, it will be pretty fun to see her develop and grow over the course of the season.”
Tori Edwards put the Warriors on the board first with a kill on an assist from Josilyn Remick, and a block by Kaawa and Denise Elder tied things up 5-5. The Pirates pulled ahead 10-7, but three-straight points with blocks from Elder, Kaawa and Berntson evened the match 10-10. A pair of kills from Elder and Ness made it five in a row to put LC State in front 12-10. An error by Whitworth sparked an eight-point run for LC, aided by kills from Elder and Edwards, three aces by Remick, and a block by Sydney Lawrence and Ness to push the advantage to 22-12. A service error by the Pirates pushed the score to set point at 24-16 and a block by Elder and Edwards gave the Warriors a 25-16 set victory.
Whitworth struck for a quick two points to open the second set before Edwards tallied a pair of kills to get the momentum going for the Warriors. Trailing 5-2, LC State regained the lead with an ace by Jess Ruffing, kills by Kaawa and a block by Elder and Berntson to make it 7-5. Whitworth found a groove and took a 13-9 lead over the Warriors, but a kill by Berntson snapped the streak. Kills by Lawrence and Kaawa, paired with a block by Edwards and Lawrence, kept LC within two at 15-13. After Whitworth pulled ahead to take a 20-14 lead, the Warriors battled back to tie things up 23-23, but the Pirates hung on to take the second set 25-23.
The Pirates drew first blood in set three, but a service error quickly tied things up at 1-1. A kill by Elder kept the score knotted at 4-4 and a Whitworth error gave LC a 5-4 lead. A pair of kills each from Bernston and Ness grew the advantage to 10-7, but the Pirates rallied to even the score 11-11. A well-placed kill into the back corner by Edwards kept things even at 12-12, and a kill by Kaawa gave the Warriors back the lead at 13-12. A kill by Ness was followed by a block from Berntson and Lawrence to give LC State a 19-17 edge, but the Pirates did not let up and brought it back to a tie at 21-21. Back-to-back kills from Ness and Kaawa gave LC State a 23-21 lead and an attack error made it set point. Gionni Brown added to her team-leading and national top-10 service ace count with one to end the set 25-22.
Back-to-back errors by the Pirates gave LC a 5-4 lead early in the fourth set. The two teams battled to hold lead and the Pirates used a four-point run to pull ahead 14-12. Back-to-back kills by Edwards and an error by Whitworth put the Warriors back in front 15-14, but the lead was short-lived as the Pirates evened the set 17-17. Three-straight Kaawa kills pushed the Warriors in front 20-17. Kaawa stayed hot with an ace to make it 22-18. Elder put the match away with a kill to take the set 25-22.
Kaawa led the Warriors with 15 kills to go with 25 digs on a .361 attack percentage. Brown also tallied 25 digs while Edwards tallied 10 kills on the night. Remick and Ruffing each served up three aces and dished 20 and 21 assists each, respectively.
The Warriors continue their homestand on Sept. 13 when they host Walla Walla at 4 p.m.