PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers overcame a 13-11 deficit in the fifth set to defeat the third-place Pacific Boxers, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18, 16-25, 17-15, in their second-to-final match of the season on Friday night. The Pios have now won four of their last five matches.
Seniors Kortney Meyer and Casey Myszkowski combined for 26 kills with Myszkowski, who hit .379, scoring the final point on a service ace to seal the win at Pamplin Sports Center. Serving for match point, Pacific's Milana Ivkovic served into the net following a Pioneers timeout, which brought Lewis & Clark within one.
Like Myszkowski, freshman Ka'anelaokapu'uwai Pakaki-Pias also had 12 kills, the second time she's finished with a double-digit kill total. Pakaki-Pias served during the go-ahead points on kills by Myszkowski and Meyer. A bad set by Pacific's Haley Walz gave Myszkowski the match-point opportunity.
Lewis & Clark (13-9, 6-9 NWC) withstood rallies by the Boxers during its first- and third-set wins. With the Pios leading 14-10 in the opener, Pacific fought back to even the set at 17 apiece. Annika San Nicolas had an ace following a pair of kills by Pakaki-Pias and one from Myszkowski to spark a 4-0 run. In the third, the Boxers (17-8, 10-5 NWC) worked back from a five-point deficit to close to within 20-17 before a string of errors propelled the Pioneers to a 25-18 victory.
Saturday's match had the potential to be a straight-sets win for the Pioneers, who challenged during a close second set. The Pioneers led 18-15 before Pacific tore through six kills in seven rallies to move ahead 21-19. Both teams hit over .260 in the set.
Makena Ohlmaier and Sam Yorke combined for 13 blocks, while Myszkowski added five. Michelle McGinn added a team-high 13 digs with her 16 assists. Mikayla Lopez led the Pios with 19 assists. Meyer and San Nicolas had 12 digs apiece.
- With four wins in the last five matches, Lewis & Clark has matched its highest overall win total since 2011 when the Pioneers went 13-13 under Lori Jepsen
- A victory in Saturday's finale against first-place Pacific Lutheran would match Lewis & Clark's best season since 2009
- Myszkowski's .369 hitting percentage is the third highest of anyone this season
- Meyer hit .429 against Willamette on Oct. 24 and .382 at Washington and Lee on Sept. 8
- Meyer's 48 attempts is the third most by a Pioneers student-athlete this season (Meyer - 65 at Puget Sound on Oct. 19, Meyer - 17 against George Fox on Sept. 29)
- Ohlmaier's seven blocks are her second most this season, trailing her nine-block performance against Willamette on Oct. 24, which is the most on the team this season
- The sophomore is now tied for the seventh-most in a single season (55) by a Pioneers student-athlete and is four behind Alicia Callejo-Black for sixth (59)
- Lewis & Clark's 51 kills are their fourth most this year on their sixth-most attempts
- Meyer moved to 804 career kills, seventh most all-time at Lewis & Clark
- The senior needs 12 to surpass Nick Smith for sixth all-time and 14 to bypass Sara Kettler for fifth all-time
- Lopez is four behind Jennifer Slaton for third all-time in service aces after one on Friday
Lewis & Clark will close out the season with its Senior Night match against PLU on Saturday night at 5 p.m. Hannah Robles, Myszkowski, Yorke, Lopez, Meyer and San Nicolas will play their final match for the Pioneers.