Posted on

Lady Eagles fall to future sectional foe

Lady Eagles fall to future sectional foe
Lady Eagles fall to future sectional foe
Lanesville outside hitter Mackenzie Schmelz is greeted by Sydney Casabella (10) after recording a kill. Photos by Brian Smith

Thursday provided a scouting report for the upcoming sectional opener for Lanesville and Borden volleyball programs.
If the drama of the regular season meeting, the final’ for Lanesville, is any indication, the postseason meeting should be just as tight. In a five-set marathon, Borden rallied from a game down to defeat the Lady Eagles 25-20, 14-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-6 on senior night in Lanesville.
‘I am very proud of them to see some fight,’ Lanesville coach Pamela Tobbe said. ‘We play Borden in sectional, so it is important to see what we have to improve on. Hopefully, we can make it to the championship.’
The two Southern Athletic Conference rivals will meet Saturday in the Class A New Washington semi-final at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the senior recognition ceremony was bustling with eight players ‘ Haylie Walter, Olivia Cook, Mackenzie Schmelz, Taylor Brown, Peyton Blank, Kirsten Henke, Sydney Casabella and Annie Parsons ‘ receiving gifts and praise.
Once the Lady Eagles put their hair up and hit the floor, it was down to volleyball business.
Lanesville excelled much of the contest at the service line, throwing in 19 aces as a team by six different players. Casabella led the way with eight.
‘Serving, we had some errors, but there were a lot of aces,’ Tobbe said. ‘We work on serve and serve-receive a lot. Those are the starts of volleyball and can fall apart first. It’s nice to see it’s getting used.’
Trailing two games to one, Borden led from the opening serve of game four and, at one point, had a 17-9 margin before Lanesville made a modest run. Schmelz had a tip over the Borden block, while Henke added a kill to pull the Lady Eagles within five, 20-15. The rally wasn’t enough as Borden won five additional points, backed by a pair of Bailee Kruer winners.
Heading to the deciding game five, a race to 15, Borden seized control early and held on without much threat.
Kills by Kendyl Wheatley, Haley Shouse and Kruer lofted the Lady Braves to a 10-1 lead. Joann Konermann had a block in the middle leading to the nine-point lead.
Lanesville tried to come back but couldn’t string consecutive winners together until faced with match point. Then, a Borden side-out, along with a Cook ace, brought Lanesville to within eight, 14-6.
Borden closed the match when Lanesville fired a shot wide of the boundary line.
‘We wanted it,’ Tobbe said. ‘When they get down, it’s hard for them to get back. There were a few calls in that fourth game that killed momentum.’
Game one was within Lanesville’s grasp. Casabella had consecutive aces forcing a Borden time-out with the Lady Eagles leading 16-14.
Lanesville had a two-point margin until Borden scored four straight points to take the lead, 20-18. Following a Lanesville time-out, Borden continued to roll, winning five of the next seven points. It was capped by Kruer putting down an overpass error by the Lady Eagles.
In games two and three, Lanesville controlled play that resulted in a pair of wins.
Blank had a sliding dig to help the Lady Eagles win a lengthy point to take a 5-4 lead. From that point on, the Lady Eagles were on the positive side of the scoreboard the rest of the way. Emily Davis had a winning pass to go with well-placed aces by Parsons and Casabella.
Keeping the energy in game three, Lanesville, boosted by Blank aces, quickly went ahead 9-5. Schmelz pinned a boisterous slam to the floor during the run that ignited the purple and white.
‘We had some hits tonight that I haven’t seen all year,’ Tobbe said. ‘Mackenzie, Kirsten and Sydney had a few big hits. Those were some ups from players that show we have those capabilities.’
Borden managed to put together a 7-1 run to take a brief 12-10 lead in game three. Using the service line to their advantage, the Lady Eagles used three Casabella aces to storm back ahead for good. Henke had a late kill to sure up the game.
Tobbe said encouraging vocal excitement is something she has pushed all year.
‘We’re loud,’ Tobbe said. ‘When we are loud, it works for us. We try to use it to break the other team down. But, we are the fastest team to get quiet. The big goal ‘ win a point or lose a point ‘ is to stay vocal and get excited. As long as we are playing good, they stay that way.’
There is even a bit of incentive for the highest decibel level.
‘We’re going to have a certificate at the end of the year for the loudest. It’ll be a toss up between a few of them,’ Tobbe said.
Borden, however, gained the upper-hand in the final two games to escape Lanesville with the win.
On Saturday, Lanesville can look forward to revenge.