By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Its the closest theyve come in seven years, but it was just not close enough.
The Lewis-Clark State Warriors downed the MSU-Northern Skylights volleyball team 15-5, 15-8, 15-2 at Lewiston, Idaho, Friday.
The Skylights playoff hopes dwindled as Rocky Mountain College defeated Montana Tech Saturday, breaking the fourth-place tie-breaker and finishing four points ahead of Northern for a playoff position.
Its the closest weve come in a long time, and theres nothing to hang our heads about, said first-year head coach Lisa Handley.
Handley helped lead the Skylights to a 5-7 Frontier Conference and 7-16 overall record, a two-game improvement over last season.
At Lewis-Clark, Adrienne Poplawski and Melanie Baack each had eight kills to lead the Skylights.
Poplawski hit 8-of-11 kills. Heather Hammonds connected on six-of-11 kills in the contest.
Jennifer Sanders had eight digs defensively for Northern.
Lewis-Clark, the sixth-ranked team in the nation in the latest NAIA poll, won its 15th straight match and clinched the regular-season title.
Rocky will open the playoffs at Lewiston against L-C State.
Against Northern, Warrior power Joy Dunn of Great Falls notched 16 kills, hitting .519 for Lewis-Clark.
Joy Dunn, she was just on fire and hit around our blocks, Handley said. Theyre just dominant. Our girls played hard and gave it every effort. There really were a lot of side outs. It was really an exciting game, even though the scores didnt really show it.