Pioneers lose in straight sets to PLU

Pioneers lose in straight sets to PLU

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers were held to negative hitting percentages in the first two games on the way to a 25-17, 25-10, 25-14 defeat to the Pacific Lutheran Lutes on Saturday evening at Pamplin Sports Center.

The Lutes (9-3; 3-1 NWC) jumped out to big leads in all three sets, including the third when serving runs by Gabrielle Alley and Caylie Shiramizu gave PLU a 15-2 edge. PLU built a 17-7 lead in the opening set, much of it on serving runs by Isabella Zubrod and Emma Peters.

Lewis & Clark, which has now lost eight straight, had its best moment toward the end of the first set. The Pioneers (1-10; 0-4 NWC) used kills by Bailee Cragun and Kortney Meyer to get to within 22-14. Annika San Nicolas added two aces before the Lutes closed out the set.

Only Casey Myszkowski finished with a positive hitting percentage among the Pioneers' top attackers. The junior landed four kills and hit .200 overall. Cragun added to her team-best block total with two more on Saturday and has 22 on the year.

The Pioneers haven't won a match since hitting .215 against Schreiner during the Oregon Trail Classic on Sept. 2. During the eight-game losing skid, Lewis & Clark has not been above .200 or better in hitting percentage. Saturday's match also ended a streak of three-straight games for the Pioneers with at least 10 block assists.

Makena Ohlmaier and Emma Contreras had three kills apiece to go with three from Cragun. Meyer led the Pios with seven. Anneka Banda and Sam Yorke had one kill each. Mikayla Lopez's 14 assists, a season low, was indicative of the hitting struggle the Pioneers endured.

Lewis & Clark will continue its stretch of home games by hosting Whitworth on Friday.