Roadrunners Finish The Regular Season In Dominant Performance
LBCC volleyball finished the regular season at home this past wednesday with a win against the Lane Community College Titans and head into this week ranked number five on the Under Armour coaches poll. This bolsters their resume heading into the NWAC regional playoffs and gives them another boost before the spike in competition. The win wasn’t just the home finale and regular season finish, it was the fifth and final game that was apart of a whopping 5 match winning streak for the Roadrunners. In these past five matches, LBCC shutout their opponents in each one which combined for a 15-0 set score overall. This resurgence came off of a surprising loss to south division rival Chemeketa, who finished the season 16-16 with a six match win streak respectively. The dominant stretch also pushes LBCC to a 30-win season on the year with a 14-1 record in conference.
LBCC’s win against Lane was no easy bout, and proved itself as a match that could tune the Roadrunners up before a playoff that presents competition the Roadrunners haven’t faced all season. The Roadrunners started off well against the Titans, winning the first set 25-19, but the Titans would test the limits of the Roadrunners in the next match, taking it to overtime. This tight set would see LBCC winning 27-25 before finishing the job off in the next set, 25-15. Some notable players on the night for Roadrunners included Grace Phillips, who totaled 19 kills on 32 attempts, finishing the night with a .531 kill percentage. Kya Knuth also continued her MVP season leading the team with 17 digs on the night and creating opportunities for her hitters.
The competition for the Roadrunners only gets more intense from here with a stacked list of other division leaders from the north, east, and west divisions in the NWAC. From the north come the #4 Edmonds Community College Tritons. The Tritons hold a 29-6 record overall with an undefeated 12-0 record in conference, and will face in-division rival Tacoma this week in the first matchup of the postseason. LBCC has met with the Tritons twice this season, tying the season series 1-1. LBCC initially beat the Tritons in a nail-biter by a set score of 2-0, winning the first set 25-21 and digging deep to put them away in overtime, 28-26. Edmonds would get their revenge later in the season, beating LBCC 3-1. The Roadrunners won the first set 25-19, before falling 25-20, 25-22 and 25-18 in the next three.
The east region holds one of the best teams in the entire conference, the #1 Spokane Community College Sasquatches, as well as LBCC’s first round opponent, the North Idaho Cardinal. Spokane boasts an astounding undefeated record overall, which currently stands at 35-0 with a 16-0 in conference. LBCC never met the Sasquatches in play this season, but a match between the two could be decided in the postseason. Finally, the west region leader stands as the #2 Pierce College Raiders, who are right behind Spokane in the coaches poll and have a record of 31-4 with a 14-0 record in conference. LBCC met with the Raiders more than once this season, losing their first bout together in a score of 2-1. This was an early pre-season match and saw the Roadrunners win the first set 24-23, while losing the next three sets. The two teams met later in the season, with the Roadrunners exacting their revenge against the Raiders and winning a roller coaster matchup 3-2. LBCC and PC shared matches back and forth, before the Roadrunners put the match away in the fifth set, 15-12. The two teams combined for a total of 201 points and kept it close in each set.
The stats don’t lie, and they all show that LBCC can matchup with the top teams in the conference when faced against them. The NWAC regional playoffs will host 16 teams, four from each conference. LBCC is riding high on a dominant streak, and has all the momentum heading into the postseason. It’s a bracket that has all of the pieces to be a memorable one, with teams on dominant streaks, as well as one that hasn’t yet tasted defeat.
The NWAC playoffs will go from Nov. 15-18 and will be held in Tacoma, Washington. LBCC will start their playoff run by facing North Idaho (23-11 overall, 11-5 conference). The two teams have met twice this season, holding a 1-1 tie on the season series.
Story by Cam Hanson
Photos by Davis Ihde and Lee Frazier