Stockton, Calif. - Behind the senior leadership of Lexi Elman and breakout performances by freshmen, the Pacific volleyball team won its opener of the Pacific Community Classic Friday, 3-2, over Northern Colorado.
Elman posted a team-high 17 kills, while freshman Ashlyn Fleming posted a career-best 14 kills, hitting .294 with eight blocks. Freshmen Emily Baptista and Skylar Wine each chipped in 11 kills. Wine set a new career high with her 11 kills, slugging .393 for the match.
Andie Shelton doled out 44 assists and had 13 digs with six blocks, while Jessica Diederich added 11 assists off the bench with four digs. Libero Katrin Gotterba paced Pacific defensively 24 digs.
Pacific hit .269 for the match while holding the Bears to a .180 percentage.
The Tigers got off to a slow start in set one, falling behind 7-4 via a slew of miss hits. But Pacific got on track and came back to tie 17-17. However, Kortney Lockey tallied back to back kills, and the Tigers fell 25-21.
Learning from set one, Pacific came out firing in set two, reeling off seven straight points as Maycie LaBass held serve and Shelton spread the ball around to four different attackers. Pacific hit a season-best for a set, .483, in set two, with 15 kills on 29 attempts and just one error to cruise to a 25-11 win.
Set three featured six ties and three lead changes. Pacific trailed 20-18 before a kill from Alicja Wilk enabled a 22-22 tie. Fleming and Elman staved off set points at 24-23 and 25-24 with kills, but Northern Colorado tallied twice for a 27-25 win.
Backs against the wall, the Tigers hit .441 in set four, as Wine came off the bench and teamed with Baptista and Fleming to stretch a 6-5 lead into a 16-9 margin. Elman and Wine tallied five kills each in the set, with Baptista and Fleming teaming for a block on set point to force set five.
Down 6-5 in the decisive set, Elman's kill and service ace gave Pacific the lead for good, with Gotterba serving up three straight points including an ace for a three-point margin. Deidrerich set Elman for the final two kills as the Tigers prevailed, 15-12.
Pacific improves to 3-4 on the season, while Northern Colorado falls to 4-5.
Earlier in the day, South Dakota posted wins over Northern Colorado and Oregon State in the first two matches of the Pacific Community Classic.
The Tigers face South Dakota at 10 a.m. Saturday, and following Northern Colorado and Oregon State at 1 p.m., Pacific faces Oregon State in the finale at 7 p.m.