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Volleyball Postgame: Stacie Matz-Gordon - 11.6.2015 - Pioneers 3, Whitman 0




PORTLAND, Ore. -- Entering her final weekend as a member of the Lewis & Clark Pioneers, senior Ali Carleton posted her second consecutive double-double as the Pios defeated visiting Whitman 25-21, 25-18, 25-17 on Friday night at Pamplin Sports Center. Carleton also had her second-highest hitting percentage of the season when attempting at least 10 attacks, finishing with a match-high .391. The Pioneers only trailed once in the entire match, falling behind 5-2 in the second set. Lewis & Clark freshman Riley Stephens had her fourth .300-plus hitting game, and second in a row, landing nine kills with a .375 hitting percentage. "Couldn't have asked for a better win," said Carleton. "It was a whole team win and we just went out there and got it. Short-term memory, that was a big part of it again. Everyone coming together and playing for each other." "Look at Carleton, she played lights out," said Lewis & Clark head coach Stacie Matz-Gordon. "With determination, fantastic leadership, going all out and really setting the standard for what this program can be for years to come." With a win on Saturday over first-place Whitworth, the Pios can finish in fourth place in the Northwest Conference, which would be Lewis & Clark's best finish since 2011. The Pioneers broke open the first set when kills by Maeleen Hopeau and Carleton, who also added an ace, took Lewis & Clark ahead 13-8. Whitman went on a 7-2 run to tie the set 15-15. Carleton scored two of the final five points on kills to give the Pios a 1-0 lead in the match. In the second set, the Missionaries led Lewis & Clark 5-2 before Emily Drake and Julia Somers held serve for the Pios as they took a 12-7 lead. Somers had two kills and two aces during that stretch. Kortney Meyer and Hopeau scored on kills for four points to extend the lead to 19-12 before Stephens had three more kills in the final six points to close out the set. Lewis & Clark hit a match-high .244 in the set with 17 kills. Stephens kept the serve after the Pios went up 18-15 in the third set, scoring points on two Carleton kills and three Whitman errors to put Lewis & Clark two points away from the sweep. Carleton and Hopeau scored the final kills, as the Pioneers avenged a straight sets loss to the Missionaries last month. "When we went to Whitman, the match looked eerily similar, but just the other way around," said Matz-Gordon. "It was fantastic for our girls to get a chance to have some payback. Whitman is a fantastic team, they've been beating teams and they're really technically sound, and we caught them on a night where they weren't, and we were." The victory prevented Lewis & Clark from losing consecutive NWC matches for a third time this season. Prior to Friday, the Pios had lost in streaks of four and three, while also winning four straight early in the conference schedule. Alexe Navarro led the Pios with 22 digs, while Mikayla Lopez and Drake combined for 32 assists. Meyer hit .267 and Hopeau finished at .200, both ending the game with seven kills. Somers had a season-low four kills, but finished with three blocks, her highest total of the season for a fifth time. Whitman's leaders included Anna Dawson with 17 assists and 10 digs, while Hannah Linsenmayer brought up 17 digs. Megan Henry had seven kills and Abby Seethoff finished with six. Lewis & Clark celebrates Senior Night when the Pios host Whitworth on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Drake, Carleton and Isabel Valentine will be honored. "It's obviously tough," said Carleton about playing her final matches. "I love this game and I love my teammates more than anything, so I couldn't ask for a better way to start this weekend." Valentine was injured before Lewis & Clark's first game after leading all hitters in percentage last season. Whitworth won the first meeting between the teams in four sets last month in Spokane. Other Northwest Conference Scores - Friday Willamette 3, Whitworth 2 Pacific Lutheran 3, Linfield 0 Pacific 3, George Fox 2

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