Pioneers take opener, downed in four

Pioneers take opener, downed in four

TACOMA, Wash. -- For the second time this season, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers won their first set against the Puget Sound Loggers. On Saturday at the Memorial Fieldhouse, the Pios lost the final three in a 19-25, 25-19, 25-28, 25-18 defeat. 

Lewis & Clark hit above .200 in the first two sets. Kendall Malone and Ka'anelaokapu'uwai Pakaki-Pias were errorless in the opening set and combined for five kills.

For the match, Makena Ohlmaier hit .261 and had 10 kills to go with an ace, two digs and four blocks. Blythe Ballesteros had a career-high four aces, while Emma Ehlers assisted on a career-best eight blocks.

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Key Moments

The Pioneers opened to a 7-2 lead in the initial set on Saturday, a stretch that included one of three aces by Ballesteros. The senior regained the serve after the Loggers closed to within two and put down her final two aces along with a kill by Ohlmaier to give the Pios an 18-11 edge. 

Puget Sound (13-11, 8-4 NWC) bounced back in the second and scored 12 of the first 14 points in the set. Once again on service from Ballesteros, the Pioneers scored four straight points including a kill by Kelsey Parker, one of five kills for her in the match. Parker hit her highest percentage of the season (.313) since Sept. 16.

Pakaki-Pias scored three-straight kills and Lewis & Clark challenged the rest of the set, but never got closer than four points.

Kills by Malone, Pakaki-Pias and Parker and another ace by Ballesteros gave the Pioneers an 8-4 led in third game. Puget Sound called timeout and scored five of the next six points to take the lead. The set remained about a three-point margin until the late stages when the Loggers went on another run to win 25-18. 

An early lead for the Pioneers (8-12, 4-8 NWC) disapated by a streak of points from Puget Sound in the fourth. Tied at eight, the Loggers moved ahead 12-8 and never relinquished the lead.

Deeper Look

  • Malone led the team in kills (11) and digs (12) to go with three blocks
  • Michelle McGinn totaled 31 assists and 11 digs
  • Kayla Valdez added five digs and Isabel Artiaga had four
  • Pakaki-Pias matched her career high with four assisted blocks
  • Tallie Davison led the Loggers with 18 kills and Sarah Blumenfeld had a match-high 55 assists

Looking Ahead

The Pioneers play at George Fox on Wednesday and will look for the season sweep over the Bruins.

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