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Class 3A Region Volleyball Rival Indians end ELC’s season

October 21, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

SPIRIT LAKE -Estherville Lincoln Central gave rival Spirit Lake another good battle, but the Indians still were too tough as they swept the Midgets 3-0 in Wednesday's Class 3A first-round region matchup.

"I thought our girls played great against Spirit Lake," said ELC coach Jean Jensen. "With them being so much bigger than us, we knew it was going to be a very tough battle. We went into the game knowing that we had to four things really well-zone serve hard at them, serve receive well, put up a big block, and do a lot of back row attacking."

Spirit Lake boasts a line-up with three players over 6 feet.

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"All the girls did a great job of zone serving which put Spirit Lake out of system," said Jensen. "We were also able to keep the ball away from their libero most of the time which helped."

The match mirrored the two teams' last meeting with ELC keeping the first and third games close.

In the opening match, ELC tied Spirit Lake on one of Dania Ponce Diaz' eight kills on the night. But Spirit Lake rattled off the next six points to get to game point. After two errors by the Indians gave ELC a pair of points, Spirit Lake closed out with a big block to win 25-20.

The Indians jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the second game and ELC never recovered on the way to a 25-13 victory.

"Overall, I was very impressed how all the girls played," said coach Jensen. "We let down a little the second game, but came back fighting hard again the third game."

ELC battled back in the third game, taking a 9-6 lead on back-row spike from Sydney Swanson.

"I thought Syd Swanson did a super job of calling back row attacks and Dania was very effective as an outside hitter with both of them leading the team with eight kills each for the night," said coach Jensen

But Spirit Lake scored the next four points to retake the lead. After ties at 10 and 11, Spirit Lake took the lead for good. Trailing 24-18, ELC scored three straight points to cut the deficit to three, but a mishit by ELC into the net ended the match and the season.

ELC served well throughout the night, going 47-of-51 with two aces.

"Brenna Evans came into serve for Brianna Fix and went 9 for 9, Kallie Dalen went 13-14 with two aces," said coach Jensen. I also thought we did a very good job on serve receive. Spirit Lake is a very good team and serves the ball very hard. I thought Lindsey (Jensen), Dania, Vanessa (Woelber), and Syd all did a great job with our serve receive."

Besides the eight kills from Ponce Diaz and Swanson, Jensen and Woelber each had three kills and Woelber had two. Fix had 18 set assists.

"Brianna Fix has taken over setting all rotations since Kendall got hurt and has done a super job with that," said coach Jensen.

Defensively, ELC had five blocks led by Jensen with two.

"We knew we weren't tall enough to block all their hits, but we were able to stop a lot of them and our back row did a great job of digging up the ones that got through," said coach Jensen. "Sometimes the back row doesn't get as much credit as they deserve, because you don't see that big hit, but without them digging the balls there would not be any hits and they had their work cut out for them with Spirit Lake. Lindsey led the team with 11 digs, Vanessa 10, Dania 9, Mya 5, Fix 4 and Kallie 3."

Emma Loveall, a 6-1 outside hitter, led Spirit Lake with 18 of her team's 36 kills. Mikia Kriener, a 6-3 middle hitter, had nine kills while the 6-4 Jordan Hamm had seven kills.

ELC loses eight seniors this year-Ember Bechtel, Kendall Evans, Brianna Fix, Mya Gjerde, Lindsey Jensen, Kenlee Schilling, Sydney Swanson, and Vanessa Woelber.

"I would just like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication over the years," said coach Jensen. "All these kids have put in a ton of time during the season and on the off season. They will all be missed by the coaches and all their younger teammates."



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