Lewis & Clark takes opening set in loss to NWC leader

Lewis & Clark takes opening set in loss to NWC leader

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers used 22 kills and outhit the Whitworth Pirates by .074 to win the opener on Saturday night at the Whitworth Fieldhouse before losing in four sets, 28-30, 25-7, 25-21, 25-21.

Kendall Malone led the Pioneers with 19 kills, which moved her passed 300 for her career. Michelle McGinn had another 30-plus assists night and matched her career high with six kills.

Despite taking a lead in each of their last six matches, the Pios are 2-4 over that stretch. Whitworth, the Northwest Conference leader, has won seven of its last eight.

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Key Moments

The Pioneers trailed 18-15 in the opening set before mounting a comeback that was sustained through extra play. Lewis & Clark spread the scoring as five different Pios landed kills to keep them close. Makena Ohlmaier tied the game at 24-24 on her kill and ace. Ka'anelaokapu'uwai Pakaki-Pias, who had a team-high 18 digs, scored one of her 10 kills and tied it again at 25 all before a Whitworth error gave the Pios their first lead since 12-10. Freshman Emma Ehlers won a key point on a kill that put the Pioneers up 29-28 before another Pirates error sealed the set for Lewis & Clark. Ehlers had her most kills (4) since landing five against Marian on Sept. 7.

Whitworth hit amazingly (.478) in the second, while the Pioneers were the opposite (-.152) and were held to fewer than 10 points in a set for the first time all season. Lewis & Clark had 22 attack errors in the first two sets combined. 

In the third, the Pios took control by an 11-8 margin and Malone had three kills over a six-point stretch. Saylor Anderson held serve to spark the Pirates comeback and Whitworth took control 14-12. Of the Pios' final seven points of the game, four came from kills including two by Malone along with an ace from Pakaki-Pias, one of her career-high four in the match. 

Lewis & Clark held a late lead in the fourth - 17-16 after another ace from Pakaki-Pias - before the Pirates scored nine of the final 13 points.

Deeper Look

  • McGinn had her 10th game with double-digit assists and digs
  • After scoring 10 kills on zero errors the night before, Ohlmaier hit -.115 with seven kills against the Pirates
  • Emiko Kahler led Whitworth with 16 kills, while Iris Tikhonov added 14 on .423 hitting
  • Pakaki-Pias' moved passed 400 career digs
  • Grace McCullough had her highest errors total (6) this season
  • Blythe Ballesteros added 12 digs, one of five Pios with 10 or more; Kayla Valdez had 11
  • With 10 digs, Malone moved to 250 in her career
  • Lewis & Clark's 33 attack errors are a season high

Looking Ahead

Lewis & Clark (7-9, 3-5 NWC) starts the second half of the NWC schedule on Friday at Willamette before hosting Pacific on Oct. 19.

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