DENVER -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers won a four-set match against Illinois Tech to open a three-game tournament at Johnson and Wales on Friday. Michelle McGinn had a career-high 44 assists and five kills in a 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 victory.
The Pioneers (3-2) hit .471 in the opening set and .273 in the third. They never dipped below .140 in the match.
Lewis & Clark had its third match hitting .250 or better this season and all three times the Pios have won. Kimbro had her first-ever match with more than 10 attack attempts and she delivered with six kills and remained a key defensively with seven blocks. Along with Malone's 18 kills - her third straight match with at least 16 - Lewis & Clark dominated the attack with 11 kills from Kelsey Parker and seven more by Emma Ehlers.
"I thought we started slowly, but came back and executed at a high level," head coach Emily Hayes said. "Our attacking numbers were pretty solid and we continue to show our versatility and ball control. Excited to see us grow in our consistency and improve."
All of the Pioneers offense runs through McGinn, who was Northwest Conference Freshman of the Year caliber during her initial season at Lewis & Clark. Last week, she had the first 30-plus assists game for the Pios since 2017 and immediately did it again on Friday. A part of all six rotations, McGinn has played four of her five matches this year without committing an attack error.
"I love this team's mindset and how they embrace tough moments," Hayes said.
Sara Hassell led Illinois Tech (0-5) with 17 kills and hit .414. The Scarlet Hawks lost the opening set after starting with a 10-4 lead. In the second set, Illinois Tech bounced back from an early deficit and used a 4-0 run to shift things in their only set victory of the match.
- Ka'anelaokapu'uwai Pakaki-Pias made her season debut and had 14 digs, trailing Malone who had 23 and Kayla Alvarez's 15
- Sydney Richardson added 10 digs and seven assists
- Jenna Timmerman (six blocks) was as solid at the net as Kimbro with the duo combining for key blocks throughout the match including the game winner
- Grace McCullough added four kills and an ace
- McGinn's 44 assists moved her past 500 for her career
- Rainy weather caused traffic issues and delayed the Pioneers about three hours on their way back to their rental home
Lewis & Clark completes the Johnson and Wales Tournament with two matches on Saturday. The Pioneers play William Peace at 10 a.m. and Marian at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time).