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Volleyball Postgame: Ali Carleton - 9.30.2015 - Willamette 3, Pioneers 0




Pios drop match as Navarro sets new career mark In a game matching undefeated teams, Lewis & Clark junior Alexe Navarro sets the all-time career digs record as Willamette beats the Pioneers in Salem. == SALEM, Ore. -- With three teams undefeated in the Northwest Conference standings entering Wednesday, the only scheduled match featured two of them, as Lewis & Clark traveled to Willamette. While the first two sets stayed tight into the twenties, the home team Bearcats swept the Pioneers 25-23, 25-20, 25-17 inside Cole Fieldhouse. In the match, junior libero Alexe Navarro posted 20 digs to surpass Lou Ohki as the Lewis & Clark all-time digs career record holder. With Wednesday's performance, Navarro now has 1,230 career digs to eclipse Ohki's 1,218. According to the Lewis & Clark coaching staff, Ohki was a transfer sophomore, setting the mark in three seasons. Navarro's accomplishment comes right at the halfway point of her third season. "I'm so happy for her," said senior captain Ali Carleton. "She brings so much to our team and our program. She's very selfless and that's what you have to be as a libero. You're setting everyone else up for success." For the match, Willamette finished with a .333-.153 advantage in hitting percentage, including four individuals posting marks of .360 or higher. Willamette's Sarah Fincher had a match-high 16 kills. On the Lewis & Clark side, Maeleen Hopeau and Carleton each had 10 kills, with Carleton hitting .400. Hopeau was close at .391, but no other Pios were over .200. Mikayla Lopez had 15 assists and Emily Drake added 11, while Navarro's 20 digs were a match-high. Kaylen Higa had 18 digs, tops for the Bearcats The first set was extremely close, with the teams tied 23-23 after back-to-back setting errors by the Bearcats. Earlier in the set, the Pios came back from a 9-7 deficit to lead 12-11, but Willamette tore through four straight points thanks to Lewis & Clark hitting errors and kills by Fincher. On Lopez's serve, the Pios were able to regain the edge. Her aces bookended kills by Carleton and Kortney Meyer to put Lewis & Clark ahead 17-15. Lopez finished with a match-high three aces. After Lopez committed a service error, points went back-and-forth as kills from Willamette's Emma Liband, Riley Fawcett and Fincher were matched by Julia Somers and Hopeau. The Pios also benefited from errors by Lindsey Compton to even the set at 21-21. She redeemed herself, though, registering a kill to put Willamette up by one before Taylor Lum's kill made it 23-21. After the Pios tied, Compton and Fincher finished out the set on kills. Lewis & Clark scored the first three points of the second set, eventually leading 20-18. The Pis scoring was evenly distributed among Emma Contreras, Meyer, Somers, Carleton and Hopeau, with Hopeau scoring three of the last four points. Willamette scored the final seven points of the set behind a kill from Compton and six errors by Lewis & Clark to take a 2-0 match lead. In the final set, Willamette led 10-8 before scoring five straight points, eventually leading 19-11 before the Pioneers called timeout. Willamette held on to win in straight sets. "We just couldn't respond," said Carleton. "We didn't find that way to reset and switch our mindset and change our game up. "We're really fortunate to have practice tomorrow. It's not a Friday-Saturday game. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to change that mindset." With the loss, the Pioneers drop one game behind Whitworth and Willamette for the conference lead. Whitworth plays two matches this Friday and Saturday, while the other two teams play one. Lewis & Clark's next match is Saturday in Portland against Puget Sound at 7 p.m. Upcoming Northwest Conference Matches Friday Pacific Lutheran at Willamette - 7 p.m. Whitworth at Pacific - 7 p.m. Puget Sound at George Fox - 7 p.m. Whitman at Linfield - 7 p.m. Saturday Whitman at Pacific - 5 p.m. Whitworth at Linfield - 5 p.m. Puget Sound at Lewis & Clark - 7 p.m. Pacific Lutheran at George Fox - 7 p.m. Tuesday George Fox at Warner Pacific - 6 p.m.

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