Pioneers drop Northwest Conference opener in five sets

Pioneers drop Northwest Conference opener in five sets

WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers entered Northwest Conference play with a 7-0 record but saw their winning streak end with a five-set loss to the Whitman Blues.

The Pioneers traded sets with the Blues winning the second and fourth sets to force a fifth and final set. The Pioneers fell behind 14-9 in the fifth set but rallied back to pull the game to within one. However, a service error by the Pioneers gave Whitman the 15-13 win in the fifth set and dropped Lewis & Clark to 0-1 in NWC play.

Key Moments

The Pioneers dropped the third set to the Blues bringing up a must-win situation in the fourth set to keep the game going. Whitman pulled ahead 4-0 in the fourth set but a kill and a subsequent service ace by freshman Kendall Malone got the Pioneers rolling. The two teams traded points in the fourth set until back-to-back service aces by senior Annika San Nicolas helped the Pioneers pull away. Another kill by Malone sealed the set for Lewis & Clark.

Lewis & Clark started out strong in the fifth set but struggled to stop Whitman senior Codie Conching who finished the match with 18 kills. The Pios found themselves down 14-9, facing a matchpoint for the Blues. A service error by Whitman's Tate Cadang halted the Blues momentum and subsequent errors by the Blues helped to pull the Pios to within one. However, a service error would end the Pioneer rally and their winning streak dropping them to 0-1 in conference play.

Deeper Look

Looking Ahead

The Pioneers continue their road trip, facing off against Whitworth tomorrow at 6 p.m.