Front row shines for Lewis & Clark in NWC win against Linfield

Front row shines for Lewis & Clark in NWC win against Linfield

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers swept the Linfield Wildcats, 25-19, 25-15, 25-22, in their fifth Northwest Conference match of the season. The Pios used nine blocks from Kortney Meyer and 16 digs from Alexe Navarro to keep Linfield under 20 points in two of the three sets on Friday night.

Lewis & Clark also had to battle back from a deep deficit in the third set. Trailing 21-15, the Pioneers rallied back on Sam Yorke and Julia Somers' serves to score 10 of the next 11 points and end the match.

"That was something we struggled with last game," said sophomore Emma Contreras, who had a team-high seven kills. "To come back from a deficit felt amazing and it shows how, when we bring all of our energy together, we're a really strong team."

Last weekend, the Pios won the first set at home against Pacific before losing the final three. Had Lewis & Clark won that match, it would have a three-game winning streak entering Saturday's road game at Willamette.

In addition, Linfield defeated Lewis & Clark in straight sets when the two met in Portland last season. The match had none of the sets separated by more than three points.

With the win on Friday, the Pios moved within one win of fourth place in the NWC.

Lewis & Clark head coach Stacie Matz-Gordon said the string of serves by Yorke and Somers to end Linfield's run in the third set was key.

"Volleyball is a game of momentum and energy. If you can have someone step back there and serve and be intentional where she's placing the ball, it is huge," said Matz-Gordon. "You could feel the shift in the gym when they had the serve and the ball, and then we kind of flipped it on them. Especially with the power of our crowd."



The third set started out with even possession, until six straight points from Linfield put them ahead, 19-14. The Lewis & Clark offense, propelled by a kill from Contreras, turned the match around and tied up the set, 22-22. The Pioneers took the next three points, winning the set, 25-22.

Lewis & Clark started out strongly with a match-best .238 hitting percentage and 13 kills in the first set. The Pios' front line shared the ball with Contreras and Somers leading the way with seven kills each, followed by six from Kortney Meyer and five by Bailee Cragun.

"Our setters [Mikayla Lopez and Yorke] have been working so hard," said Contreras "We have been working on our connections. It felt really good to see that translate today."

Yorke led the way with 12 assists and Lopez added nine.

Lewis & Clark plays its only road match until Oct. 21 on Saturday with a trip to Willamette.

Other Northwest Conference Scores - Saturday

Willamette 3, George Fox 0
Pacific Lutheran 3, Whitman 1
Puget Sound 3, Whitworth 2 

#NewPios16 - Volleyball
June 14, 2016 #NewPios16 - Volleyball