WALLA WALLA — Despite holding its own in games one and three, Whitman College was no match for Lewis-Clark State Tuesday night as the Warriors posted a 25-20, 25-13, 25-18 non-conference volleyball victory in Sherwood Center.
Lewis-Clark State, ranked No. 24 nationally in the NAIA, ran its season record to 17-7. Whitman slipped to 4-15.
The Missionaries jumped to quick 7-1 lead in game one. Courtney Brewer had a hand in the early surge with two kills and a block at the net with Alex Graves. Carrie Cecil started the run with a kill and Katie Miller capped it with a service ace.
With Whitman’s lead at 10-6, the Warriors seized control with an 8-0 scoring spurt that included four Lauryn Herrick aces.
Whitman stayed close, getting two kills from Cecil to stay within a point at 14-13 and 15-14. An Amanda Holberg ace, sandwiched between kills by Brewer and Graves, kept the Missionaries within a point at 19-18.
After the Warriors picked off the next three points, the Missionaries stayed within range on kills by Graves and Cecil. But with Lewis-Clark State on top 23-20, a Whitman service error and attack error gave the first game to the visitors.
The Warriors bolted to a 10-3 lead in game two and Whitman drew no closer than six points in falling behind 2-0 in games.
Whitman made another run to start game three, moving in front 7-4 behind two kills from Hannah Holloran and one each from Olivia Nielson and Cecil. Lewis-Clark State responded with seven unanswered points to take the lead, but three kills from Cecil and two more from Rachel Shober helped pull the Missionaries even at 15-15.
After the Warriors tallied four of the next five points, Holloran’s kill trimmed Whitman’s deficit to 20-18. Whitman’s upset hopes faded as Lewis-Clark State clicked off the next five points to take set and match.
Cecil paced the Missionary offense with nine kills. Graves added seven in two games and Brewer had six. All four of Holloran’s kills came in the third set.
Katie Richards handed out 26 assists for Whitman, which also got 12 digs from Kelsie Butts and eight more from Breanne Robirds.
Whitman returns to Northwest Conference action this weekend, playing a pair of matches in Tacoma. The Missionaries battle Pacific Lutheran at 7 p.m. Friday and Puget Sound at 6 p.m. Saturday.