Archive for Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lansing volleyball secures share of KVL crown

Lions dominate Perry and Basehor, run winning streak to 16

October 11, 2005

— The last time the Lansing High volleyball team lost a match was Sept. 20 in its Kaw Valley League opener against Santa Fe Trail.

The Lions have played 16 matches since then. They've won all 16.

On Tuesday night at Basehor-Linwood High School, Lansing (23-3 overall, 9-1 KVL) picked up the last two of those victories as it upended Perry-Lecompton (25-9, 25-9) and Basehor 25-15, 25-18). Those victories locked up at least a share of the league championship for LHS.

A loss by Santa Fe Trail to either Bishop Ward or Tonganoxie on Tuesday night would give Lansing the title outright.

"I think they're playing more consistent and more like a team," LHS coach Julie Slater said. "I'm very pleased how they've progressed."

The journey to the league championship hasn't been an easy one for the Lions. Prior to playing the Chargers, they were winning its matches, but they weren't playing together.

The match against the Santa Fe revealed Lansing at its best and at its worst. It steamrolled through the first game of the match, but then looked confused and out of sync as it collapsed in the next two games and lost.

Since then, the Lions have been focused and united.

The results speak for themselves.

"Starting to form a team and not play as individuals has really helped, and I think our intensity level has stepped up and we've learned to keep it up throughout the whole game and not drop down the second game," senior Lauren Griffen said.

Tuesday night was no exception as the Lions struck quickly and never let up. Throughout the night all nine players contributed.

Lansing turned to its big gun, senior outside hitter Casey Welch, for a few early kills against Perry. Junior middle blocker Kate Courtney picked up an ace and an early block. Griffen controlled the net with blocks and kills. Juniors Riann Deere and Jessie Delinger also pounded kills. Seniors Dayna Norwood and Keele McLaurin led the defensive effort. The all-around performance resulted in a 25-9, 25-9 victory over the Kaws.

The match against Basehor was closer on the scoreboard, but Lansing dominated the whole way. Senior Dana Sanders opened game one with an ace. Welch then smashed five kills as LHS took an 8-4 lead. Senior Whitney Lozenski later chipped in three aces that pushed the lead to 14-6. After that the Lions never looked back as they coasted to a 25-15 victory in game one.

Basehor surged to a 15-10 lead in game two before Lansing roared back behind the powerful right arm of Courtney. The 6-foot-1 junior slammed five kills and Delinger added another as LHS went on a 7-0 run and eventually polished off the game, 25-20.

"I've had teams that have peaked early and then (fizzled out), but this team I think is getting better and better," Slater said. "They're just playing more consistent, making better decisions and playing better as a team."

League play is done, but Lansing still has a few regular-season matches left. It plays at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Anderson County-Garnett Tournament. After that it will play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Mill Valley against St. Thomas Aquinas, Olathe South and Mill Valley.

JUNIOR VARSITY WINS TWO

The Lansing High junior varsity volleyball team picked up two more wins when it beat Perry-Lecompton and Basehor-Linwood on Tuesday night.

Lansing (21-8-2) faced a stiff challenge against Perry in its first match of the night. Erin Griffen's kill and an ace from Amanda Darrow closed out a 25-23 victory in game one. The Lions then fell behind 22-12 in game two before they battled back to tie the match at 23-23 before, but the Kaws scored the final two points to win the game 25-23. Lansing then fell behind 8-6 in game three before storming back to take a 15-11 victory.

After surviving a close match with Perry, Lansing stormed past Basehor in the nightcap. The Lions cruised to a 25-13 victory in game one and then took game two by a 25-18 score.

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