WALLA WALLA, Wash. - The Lewis & Clark volleyball team earned a dominant 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-8) win over Mills on day two of the Whitman Classic. The Pioneers ended the tournament with a 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 15-7) win over the Whittier Poets.
The win moves the Pioneers to 5-3 on the season, earning them their third consecutive win, while helping them finish the Whitman Classic 3-1.
GAME ONE: vs. Mills
Ali Carleton led all players with a match-high 10 kills for the Pioneers, while Kataleya Milan collected eight and Tessa Belanger knocked down seven. Emily Drake ended her match with a game-high 16 assists and four of the Pioneers 23 aces. Milan led all players with six aces, freshman Bridgette Henningsen finished with five aces, while Carleton and Kelsey Payne, along with Drake, each had four.
The Pioneers opened the first set on a 5-0 run before Mills was able to get on the scoreboard. The Cyclones managed to pull themselves within four points of the Pioneers early into the set, but the Pioneers quickly ran away with the set. Lewis & Clark picked up eight of its aces in the set with Drake, Henningsen and Carleton each putting down two.
Mills managed to tie the Pioneers 3-3 in the opening of the second set, but once again Lewis & Clark proved to be too strong. With the contest tied, the Pioneers went on a 14-2 run with the offense putting the ball down on the serve and off the attack. The Cyclones only managed to earn three more points off the kill the rest of the way with the Pioneers easily earning the 25-10 win.
Like the second set, the Cyclones were in the third set early but the Pioneers once again found a way to take control and run away with the win. With the set tied at 2-2, the Pioneers buckled down and rattled off a 12-1 rally with the help of back-to-back-to-back aces by Milan. Seven of the Pios 12 points during that rally came with Milan at the line, while the other five were while Henningsen was serving. Mills put four more points on the board before the Pioneers went on another long rally (10-1) that closed out the contest.
GAME TWO: vs. Whittier
Milan ended the match with a team-high 22 kills, while Carleton and Belanger also ended in double-figures with Carleton knocking down 19 and Belanger 10. Drake and Hall each finished with 28 assists, while Navarro came up with a match-high 22 digs. Belanger continued her stellar season at the net for the Pioneers, earning a match-high eight blocks which takes her season total to a team-leading 29.
Lewis & Clark had the lead the majority of the opening set but Whittier managed to fight its way back into the contest. Trailing by five, 15-10, Whittier took advantage of a couple Pioneer errors to tie the match at 16-16. From that point on the two sides traded possession of the lead with the Poets edging out the Pioneers 25-23.
Like the opening set, the Pioneers ran up an early lead just to watch it slip away later in the set. However, this time the Pioneers were on the winning end, finding a way to recapture the lead at the end, closing out the set on a Milan kill.
The third set was evenly matched with neither team having a distinct advantage over the other. Russo handed the Pioneers their largest lead of the match on a kill setup by Drake, making it a 22-17 contest. The Poets pulled within one point 23-22, on a Pio error but Lewis & Clark kept them at bay, once again closing out the set on a Milan kill.
Whittier was determined to keep the match going in the fourth set, never trailing en route to the 25-20 win. In the fifth and decisive match, the Pioneers were all business opening on a 9-3 run. Whittier tried to come back but Lewis & Clark wasn't having any of it taking home the match with a 15-7 win in the fifth set.
Both Navarro and Carleton were named to the Whitman Classic All-Tournament team for their play during the weekend.