PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers defeated the Willamette Bearcats, 26-24, 25-21, 25-14, to notch their first Northwest Conference victory on Friday night at Pamplin Sports Center.
In the first set, Lewis & Clark's Casey Myszkowski had a hitting percentage of .667 with five kills. Along with Kortney Meyer's six, the pair combined for 11 kills in the opening set. Myszkowski took the final point with a service ace.
"We were really hungry for a win," said Myszkowski, who had a streak of four kills and six-straight serves in the opening set.
"I feel like we should have done that a while ago," said senior Bailee Cragun. "Establish some dominance in our own gym. A lot of communication with my teammates. They were ready to help me in a new position."
The win ends a 10-game losing streak for the Pioneers (2-12, 1-6 NWC).
"They're very special women. Losing is hard, no one debates that," said head coach Stacie Gordon. "We have been really focused on the process and not focusing solely on the result, looking at what we have to do every single day to get to where we want to be."
In the second set, the score stayed neck-and-neck until the 12th point. Sam Yorke had two kills to pull the Pios ahead 14-12, which forced a Willamette timeout. The Pioneers increased their lead to 22-18 off of a kill by Meyer and block by Bailee Cragun. Lewis & Clark closed out the second set off a service error by Willamette (5-10, 2-5 NWC) and finished with an overall hitting percentage of .165 and 32 kills off 85 attempts.
The Pioneers came out firing in the third, making a four-point run to move their lead to 10-5 and force another Willamette timeout. Lewis & Clark came out of the break for a five-point run with two kills by Makena Ohlmaier and Meyer. A service ace by Ohlmaier made the score 16-6. The Pios took the third set and had a hitting percentage of .393 and overall hitting percentage of .221 and the end of the match.
"It was just consistent," said Gordon. "That is the one thing about our team. We're talented and this has been a great example of what we do when we put it together and have consistent energy and limit our unforced errors."
Myszkowski had the team-high hitting percentage at .600 to go with 11 kills. Meyer's 12 kills were a team high. She ended the match hitting .061. Annika San Nicolas had the team high in digs with 12. Mikayla Lopez moved over 1,175 assists in the third set and finished the match with a team-high 37 assists.
Lewis & Clark plays at Puget Sound tomorrow at 6 p.m.