On Aloha Night, Pios rally for sweep

On Aloha Night, Pios rally for sweep

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers went point-for-point with the Whitman Blues at the end of each of the first two sets on Friday night and earned a sweep to open the final weekend of games this season. 

Ka'anelaokapu'uwai Pakaki-Pias had 10 kills and Michelle McGinn passed for 25 assists with a pair of kills through the first two sets as the Pioneers celebrated Aloha Night. Pakaki-Pias finished with 13 kills, her most since Oct. 11 at Whitman.

With the 26-24, 26-24, 25-19 win at Pamplin Sports Center, Lewis & Clark snapped a three-game losing streak and avenged a straight-sets road loss to the Blues last month.

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Key Moments

Pakaki-Pias landed the last two kills of the second set to complete a four-point comeback for the Pioneers, who took a 2-0 lead in the match. Isabel Artiaga added three kills and three blocks, and Pakaki-Pias committed one error on 14 attempts on her way to five kills.

"I'm going to give it to Izzy," Pakaki-Pias said of the second-set win. "She was putting up major blocks and brought the energy. We trusted our training, kept playing like it was 0-0 and we got it back."

After a 21-21 tie in the first, Pakaki-Pias and Kendall Malone landed kills, the latter giving the Pioneers the lead. 

"We were getting our groove," McGinn said. "We played our game and played together, and once we did that, we felt like we would win the game and do it fast.

"These are our last two games all together. We wanted it to be good, and we started it off great."

Emma Ehlers matched her career high with eight blocks including three solo. 

"Emma put major blocks and had her hands in their face," Pakaki-Pias said. In all, the Pioneers totaled 17 blocks.

Ehlers finished with a .429 hitting percentage with three kills on seven attempts. Kelsey Parker hit .300 on 10 attempts and landed four kills. 

Deeper Look

  • Four of the Pios' last five wins have come via straight sets
  • With four aces on Friday, Lewis & Clark has had no fewer than four in five of their last six games
  • Malone added seven kills and 16 digs, which ended a run of five straight games with double-digit kills
  • Artiaga finished with three blocks and has at least that many in three of her last five matches
  • Pakaki-Pias' 20 digs are her most with at least 10 kills since Sept. 13 when she had 17 kills and 23 digs in a 3-1 win over Austin
  • Sydney Richardson started at libero and had a key dig in the second set to keep the Pioneers with a chance to win the set
  • Blythe Ballesteros, the Pios lone senior, had 11 digs before leaving with an injury in the third set

Looking Ahead

Lewis & Clark closes out the season against Whitworth at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Ballesteros will be recognized on Senior Night before the match begins.

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