Pirates Fall in Five Set Thriller

Pirates Fall in Five Set Thriller

Whitworth University fell 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 18-25, 16-14 to Lewis & Clark State College in a hard fought non-conference volleyball match on Wednesday night. It was a far cry from the first meeting of the season between the teams when the Warriors swept the Bucs 3-0. The Pirates fall to 13-6, while Lewis & Clark State improves to 14-5.

The Pirates had a slow start, allowing a 12-6 Warrior lead. However, a kill from Madison Douglas and a couple Whitworth aces started a Bucs rally to within 14-10. Lauren Budde had three kills to tie the game at 18-18, but Brooke Kaawa had a kill that led the Warriors to their first win.

Two kills from Jessica Schmautz gave Whitworth an early lead in the second set (6-2). Three consecutive Warrior kills tied the game, and they pulled away with an 18-15 lead. A block from Erin White tied the game at 22-22, but LCSC took the set after a kill from Hayley Alvarez.

Emiko Kahler had a kill to put the Bucs up 9-8 in the third stanza, and two more stretched that lead to 18-13. Iris Tinkhonov had the last kill of the set, sparking the Pirates' momentum for the rest of the match. Tinkhinov finished the night with a .312 hitting percentage.

The Bucs took the fourth set with a couple four-point rallies, and a 6-0 run that put them up 19-9. LCSC had a late 7-point rally to pull within 18-24. However, Whitworth forced an error to send them to a fifth set. 

The Warriors jumped to a 7-3 lead in the final stanza and led until Budde's kill tied the game 13-13. Whitworth took a 14-13 lead and served for the match before LCSC scored the final three points to claim the win.

Douglas finished the game with a .458 hitting percentage and 14 kills, and Schmautz added 15. Erin White dished 49 assists next to Laina Damon's 16 digs.

The Warriors were led by Alvarez's 13 kills and Lauren West's 46 assists.

The Bucs will travel to Oregon this weekend to play Willamette on Friday and Lewis & Clark Saturday in a pair of Northwest Conference matches.