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Revenge puts Lady Eagles in title match

Revenge puts Lady Eagles in title match
Revenge puts Lady Eagles in title match
Lanesville teammates, from left, Kirsten Henke, Sydney Casabella, Emily Davis, Taylor Brown and Mackenzie Schmelz gather before the start of the Class A New Washington Sectional championship match against Christian Academy of Indiana. Photo by Brian Smith

Lanesville’s eight seniors had a grudge match to hold up.
They succeeded in the Class A New Washington Sectional semi-final Saturday afternoon when the Lady Eagles knocked off Borden, 25-18, 25-21, 18-25, 25-16.
The four-set win over the Lady Braves was a payback for Borden winning a long-lasting five-set match a week prior on Lanesville’s senior recognition night.
Lanesville came out Saturday and won the first two games before giving up the third. In the fourth, Lanesville rolled to a 25-16 victory to earn a spot in the sectional final.
The sectional championship match went to No. 3 Christian Academy of Indiana, which defeated Lanesville 3-0 later Saturday night.
‘Our main goal was to beat Borden,’ first-year Lanesville coach Pamela Tobbe said of Saturday’s action. ‘They wanted it bad. To come out and beat them in four, they were so excited. I know they would have loved to have taken a game from Christian Academy, but we didn’t. They got that goal of beating Borden. At least we got to (the championship) for a chance.’
Against Borden, Tobbe said senior Taylor Brown played her best volleyball of the year on the back row.
‘Taylor, that was the best defense she played all year,’ Tobbe said of the play against Borden. ‘Some of the other girls stepped up their hitting, too. Peyton (Blank) busted her butt setting. That was awesome.’
Versus CAI, Lanesville was outmatched by the much taller and skilled Lady Warriors. CAI went on to win 25-14, 25-10, 25-12.
The Lady Eagles showed in the opening game that they would put up a fight. Blank placed an ace on the back line to give her team an early 2-0 lead. The lead stayed at two when Skylar Belden rolled a tip over CAI’s block, making the score 4-2.
From there, CAI went to work, mainly at the service line. Krista Boesing and Sierra Razor had two aces each, leading to CAI opening a 10-6 edge. Lanesville battled to stay close, scoring with a back row attack by Emily Davis.
As game one progressed, CAI’s heavy hitters took charge. At one point, Boesing paced the Lady Warriors’ offense with five kills in a row.
‘We knew going in they had big hitters,’ Tobbe said. ‘We worked with our blocking and defense. Our defense wasn’t spot-on, but they have some big girls.’
Boesing and Razor, along with Ali Stumler, are listed at 6-foot in the program. Lanesville tried to combat the towers with a change in defense. Belden and Blank split the setting duties.
‘What hurt us was we needed Peyton to set all the way around, but she is short (5-3) and she knows it,’ Tobbe said. ‘We had to have Skylar in the front row to give us a block. We had Annie (Parsons) go in for Peyton in the front row. We knew going in our line-up was going to be different.’
CAI dominated play to open game two, taking the first eight points. Boesing and Razor had kills up front, while Stumler threw in a back-row kill during the run.
Lanesville, behind an Olivia Cook ace, Mackenzie Schmelz kill, came within five points, 13-8, after Davis served an ace.
Down the stretch, CAI won 12 of the next 15 points, backed by three Stumler kills, to snag the match.
Stumler and Boesing finished with 11 kills each. Razor had five aces and seven kills.
Lanesville held tight early in game three, trailing 9-7 at one point, before CAI ripped off nine straight. The spurt eventually landed the Lady Warriors its third straight sectional title.
‘If there is any team to lose to in sectional, I’m glad it’s them,’ Tobbe said. ‘They have great players. What stinks is our team’s season had to end.’
Belden led Lanesville in kills with two. Emily Davis, Olivia Cook and Blank had an ace each.
Tobbe said she saw improvements with a group she took over at the end of the summer.
‘Serve-receive was a drastic improvement,’ she said. ‘Overall ball control improved as the year went on. We’re not big, so knowing how and when to hit the ball, controlling the ball was a positive step for us.’
Eight seniors ‘ Haylie Walter (who missed the postseason due to injury), Kirsten Henke, Sydney Casabella, Cook, Schmelz, Brown, Blank and Parsons ‘ are slated to graduate at the end of the school year.
‘I lose eight seniors,’ Tobbe said. ‘My entire JV will come up with two full varsity players returning. They can do it … I see we have a good group coming up. Our sophomores bust it. I feel like the next two years we are building something. We hope to get there.’