Warriors battle to four-set win over Blue Mountain

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The Warriors' Laekynn Culpepper, Sydnee Porter and Renee Baumann erupt in celebration during their first-set, come-from-behind, 25-22 win over visiting Blue Mountain Wednesday night at the Dietrich Dome.

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WWCC's Taylor Lancaster leaps to block a Blue Mountain kill attempt Wednesday night.

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WWCC's Laekynn Culpepper celebrates a point against visiting Blue Mountain during the Warriors' victory over the Timberwolves Wednesday night.

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WWCC's Renee Baumann goes up for a kill on Blue Mountain during a Warriors' rally Wednesday night.

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WWCC's Laekynn Culpepper gets a sliding save on a short serve during second-set action of Wednesday's match against visiting Blue Mountain.

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WWCC's Desiree Nielson (No. 5) and Libby Kern (No. 21) spell double trouble for Blue Mountain Wednesday night as they go up for a block in the first set.

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Unable to get in position for the dig, WWCC's Renee Baumann (No. 1) rolls out of the way so that Laekynn Culpepper can get to the kill attempt by Blue Mountain. The teamwork paid off and Culpepper kept the ball in play for the eventual Warrior point that helped in Walla Walla Community College's come-from-behind first-set win.

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WWCC's Brittany Dominguez fires a missile around the outstretched arms of Blue Mountain's Elizabeth Willingham for the first-set Warrior kill. Walla Walla Community College overcame a large deficit in the first set to register a 25-22 win.

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WWCC's Renee Baumann gets a lateral dig with backup from Laekynn Culpepper during the Warriors' first-set, 25-22, win over visiting Blue Mountain Wednesday night.

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Community College pulled into a tie for second place in the NWAACC East Region with a four-set victory over Blue Mountain.

The Warriors beat the Timberwolves 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 28-26.

Walla Walla, now 20-6 overall, is ranked No. 5 in the NWAACC. Blue Mountain, which sits in the tie with WWCC in second place in the East, is ranked No. 4.

"The crowd was a huge part of the win tonight," Warrior coach Tim Toon said. "They were loud and helped keep my team accountable. The team responded by playing their guts out."

Brittany Dominguez had a career-high 27 kills and four blocks for the Warriors in the match. She also had a .417 hitting percentage.

"She was an incredible monster at the net," Toon said. "It is no wonder that she is being heavily recruited. She put on a show tonight."

Kayla Hanus recorded 52 setting assists.

"The big kill numbers for our players don't happen if Kayla doesn't feed them the ball," Toon said. "She made our hitters look great with her quality play."

Libby Kern had 16 kills and four blocks.

"Her hitting was amazing early and she blocked some huge points late in the match," Toon said.

Laekynn Culpepper picked up 21 digs as "she outplayed her libero counterpart tonight," Toon said. "She kept a lot of rallies alive that we were able to convert to points."

Weston-McEwen graduate Renee Baumann "played with a huge amount of intensity" while getting eight kills and eight digs, Toon said.

"Her old high school team was in attendance, and she displayed a lot of good touches on the ball."

Taylor Lancaster had seven kills, five digs and three blocks for WWCC.

"She helped slow down Blue Mountain's best hitter with her blocking, and registered some important kills for us," Toon said.

Sydney Porter picked up 13 digs in her first conference match in the starting lineup.

"She took advantage of her play time by making huge contributions in the back row," Toon said.

Desiree Nielson recorded four kills and two blocks after a slow start.

"She had a great finish," Toon said. "Most of her kills came at the end of set four."

And Christine Deitz's six digs don't indicate the match she played, Toon said.

"Although Christine's stats are not huge, her contributions were needed for the win," he said. "In game four, she made the best digs of the night and we were able to convert it into a critical point."

The Warriors travel to the Pierce Crossover Friday and Saturday, and then have a showdown with Yakima at home Wednesday. Yakima is also 6-2 in the East Region.

"This 2011 group has made a commitment to beat everyone on our home floor," Toon said. "This was a big win that moves us into second place in the East and keeps an East Region title within striking distance."

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