The Fort Lewis College volleyball team earned its first home win of the season on Tuesday, claiming a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference match over Western Colorado University, 3-1. Fort Lewis improved to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in league play with the win while Western dipped to 2-8, 1-2.
“Winning in front of our home crowd is always fun, and our fans got to see our resilience tonight in the comeback effort,” said head coach Giedre Tarnauskaite.
The Skyhawks edged the Mountaineers in hitting efficiency at .184, but the teams were relatively even throughout the remainder of the stat chart. Each side totaled 55 digs while combining for seven aces and 11 blocks.
Sophomore Alexis Hobie tallied her second double-double of the season with 14 kills (.429) and 14 digs to tie a career high.
“I was really happy to see Alexis come through for us every time we needed her tonight,” Tarnauskaite said. “We can always count on her to show up with power in the front row, but she also contributed in a big way on defense and in serve receive. She competed as a true all-around player tonight.”
Junior Lauren Shea had a career-high 13 kills (.375) to go along with five digs, three blocks and an ace. Senior libero Kamryn Lopez had 11 digs and dished out four assists. Sophomore Natalia Lambos coordinated the offense with 29 assists and nine digs.
In the first set, the Mountaineers quickly got ahead, 10-4. Fort Lewis used a 5-1 run to cut the lead to 19-16 with kills from Hobie and a block from freshman Ella Butler, but Western closed out the set on a 6-1 run to take the opener, 25-17.
Western also took an early lead in the second set, but Fort Lewis turned the tides with a six-point run to go up, 8-4. Each effort from WCU was met with a hasty side out. Hobie hammered a kill to get Fort Lewis to 20 points, and three-straight kills off the hand of junior JJ Curry ended it in favor of the blue and gold, 25-15.
In Set 3, the teams were tied at three, four and five before a run put Fort Lewis comfortably ahead. The Skyhawks took advantage of hitting errors from the Mountaineers, who hit just .143 for the set, to go up 18-10. Western made a late push with back-to-back blocks that cut FLC’s lead to 23-19, but a kill from Shea would give Fort Lewis the set win, 25-19.
The Skyhawks went on a 7-1 run early in the fourth set to take a 7-3 lead. Western got within two of FLC, but quick side outs allowed the home squad to stay ahead. Sophomore Chay Swenson came up big as a late sub with a kill that put FLC up by five. The teams went point to point down the stretch and a Western kill made the score 24-20, but another swing that trailed wide ended the set in favor of Fort Lewis, 25-20, and the match, 3-1.
FLC will play in Whalen again at 6 p.m. on Friday when the team welcomes No. 20 Regis University (6-4, 2-0) to town.