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ELC ends long week at N. Iowa

Midgets short-handed at Saturday tournament

October 7, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

BUFFALO CENTER - Coming off homecoming week and with players missing due to state marching band competition, Estherville Lincoln Central wasn't at full strength heading into the North Iowa Tournament on Saturday.

"I was a little nervous about this tournament," said ELC coach Jean Jensen. "We were missing five varsity players-four due to state band and one due to injury-and it was the Saturday after homecoming. It's been a very bush week for all these kids and you could tell they were tired. It did give me a chance to see some other kids play at the varsity level and I thought they did a good job with hit."

ELC finished the day 1-3.

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ELC defeated West Bend-Mallard 21-19, 19-21, 15-12, but lost 21-12, 21-18 to North Iowa, lost 21-23, 21-16, 19-7 to West Hancock and lost 23-21, 16-21, 15-10 to North Butler.

For the tournament, Lindsey Jensen led ELC with 27 kills while Sydney Swanson had 19, Dania Ponce Diaz had 10, Sam Norton had seven, Vanessa Woelber had six, Brenna Evans had four and Kallie Dalen had three. Dalen had 56 set assists and Fix had 20 set assists.

Defensively, Ponce Diaz had 38 digs, Swanson had 37, Norton and Jensen each had 18, Mya Gjerde had 15, Dalen had 13 and Woelber had nine.

Serving, Swanson was 25-of-25 with three aces, Evans was 9-of-9, Ponce Diaz was 19-of-20 with three aces, Woelber was 16-of-17 with four aces, Jensen was 28-of-30 with one ace, Dalen was 35-of-38 with five aces, Norton was 18-of-21 with three aces and Gjerde was 14-of-18.

ELC (15-9 overall, 2-3 in the Lakes Conference) wraps up conference play at LeMars on Tuesday.

ELC?Senior night on Thursday

Thursday night was all about the seniors, as ELC hosted rival Spirit Lake.

While the Indians pulled out a 3-0 win, the Midgets nearly out on top in both the first and third games.

In the first game, ELC kept the score close, trailing by just one 14-13 at one point. The Indians pushed their advantage to as many as six before a back-row kill by Vanessa Woelber got ELC within three at 23-20. However, the Indians prevailed 25-21.

The Indians got off to a quick start in the second game, and ELC never recovered fro an early 6-0 deficit, falling 25-12.

The third game started Spirit Lake's way, as the Indians jumped out to a 6-1 lead. ELC fought back as a 6-0 run gave ELC a lead at 10-9. ELC took its biggest lead at 10-10, but Spirit Lake kept attacking. The visitors retook the lead at 16-15, which they wouldn't relinquish. ELC got back within two after a kill by Dania Ponce Diaz at 21-19. However, the Indian's Mikia Kreiner recorded three of her nine kills on the last four points for the 25-19 win.

"Overall I thought we played a great first and third game," said ELC coach Jean Jensen. "We got off to a bad start our second game and our serve receive fell apart. I was very happy we didn't just give up and went back and fought hard our third game. Spirit Lake is a very good team. We will be working on some adjustments we can make before we see them in the first round of districts."

Ponce Diaz and Sydney Swans led ELC with six kills apiece while Lindsey Jensen had five and Vanessa Woelber had four. Brianna Fix had 20 set assists.

Serving, Jensen was 13-of-13 with two aces and Dalen was 12-of-13 with one ace. Swanson led the back-row defense with 10 digs while Ponce Diaz had six and Fix had five.

Prior to the match, ELC recognized its seniors-Lindsey Jensen, Kendall Evans, Mya Gjerde, Brianna Fix, Vanessa Woelber, Kenlee Schilling, Sydney Swanson, Ember Bechtel and manager Josie Condon.

"I want to thank all seniors for all the hard work they have put into our volleyball program," said coach Jensen. "They have been great role models for our underclassmen. I really wasn't sure how were going to start out because there were quite a few tears shed before the game. It was hard with it being senior night and then extra hard since our starting setter Kendall Evans was hurt and not able to play her last home game. The girls and all the coaches really felt sorry for her. Hopefully, she might make it back to play districts."



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