DENVER, Colo. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers opened up with a first-set win before losing in the final three against the Marian Sabres to close out the Johnson and Wales Tournament on Saturday. Kayla Valdez had a career-high 16 digs and Kendall Malone knocked down 14 kills in the 20-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 loss.
The Pios held Marian to .049 hitting in the opening set before the Sabres finished over .200 in the remaining three games. Meanwhile, the Pioneers finished at .127 with Kelsey Parker leading the way with a .258 mark and career-high 12 kills.
In addition to a career-high six kills, Michelle McGinn had 35 assists, her third 30-plus assists performance in her last four matches.
The Pioneers (3-4) built a four-point lead during McGinn's opening serves and eventually led 13-7 in the opening set. Kills by Malone and Parker surrounded Marian errors to aid the Pios' six-point lead. McGinn's ninth assist of the set was scored by Malone to secure a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set turned after the Pioneers opened to a 6-2 lead thanks to kills by Parker and Malone during Sydney Richardson's service. A match-high eight attacking errors in the set plagued the Pios and Marian rolled to the biggest margin in any set in the match.
The Sabres (2-5) closed the match out in the third and fourth sets. Monica Dreifuerst led Marian with a match-high 17 kills and 15 digs.
- Parker's .258 hitting percentage is her second above .250 in the last three matches, both of which she's landed double-digit kill totals
- She also recorded a new career best for points scored (13.0) and total attempts (31)
- In addition to Valdez, Lewis & Clark had three others with 10-plus digs in the match: McGinn (14), Malone (14) and Richardson (10)
- Valdez surpassed 250 digs for her career and is averaging a career-best 2.61 per set through Saturday
- The Pioneers have won at least three games in the non-conference schedule in back-to-back seasons after not having done so since 2015 prior to last year
- Isabel Artiaga and Makena Ohlmaier each missed their third consecutive game
The Lewis & Clark Pioneers were defeated in straight sets by the William Peace Pacers in Saturday's opening game at Wildcat Center.
Lewis & Clark opened up with a .324 hitting performance, but were worse than .100 in their final two sets. The Pios lost the match 25-22, 25-14, 25-17.
McGinn had a four-kill, 19-assist game with 12 digs.
William Peace opened up to a 10-4 lead in the second set and eventually led by double digits toward the end. Mya Parks and Brienna Laskowski combined for 27 kills in the entire match, while Abby Benton added seven, many of which were in the second set.
Similarly, the Pacers were up 14-6 in the third set on their way to the sweep. McGinn, Emma Ehlers and Grace McCullough did have kills late in the third set as the Pios closed back to within six, 23-17.
- Lewis & Clark's .098 hitting percentage is their third-lowest this season
- McGinn's four kills without an error is her fifth errorless game of the year
- Jenna Timmerman (14 attempts) and Ehlers (seven attempts) each hit .143 in what was a tough attaching game for the Pios, while Kate Kimbro finished .222 on nine attempts
Lewis & Clark closes out the non-conference schedule on Friday at 7 p.m. The Pios will host Austin at Pamplin Sports Center.