Archive for Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lions win Louisburg Tourney

LHS wins six matches, improves to 17-3

September 25, 2005

— The Lansing High volleyball team is accustomed to playing Olathe South in the championship match of the Louisburg Tournament almost every year.

The Falcons, a Class 6A power and currently the No. 2-ranked team in the state, pulled out of the tournament at the last minute this season. Their absence forced the tournament to switch from a bracket play format to pool play only.

The format change didn't cause any problems for Lansing, however. The Lions won all six of their matches - most of them in dominating fashion - and collected their fourth Louisburg Tournament title in the last five years.

"We were able to run our offense and stay up," senior Lauren Griffen said. "Even when we played teams and beat them 25-7, we were still getting kills and we were still using it and not letting down. That was a good sign, and hopefully we'll continue to do it."

Griffen said the Lions were a little disappointed they didn't get to face Olathe South, but said they still were pleased that they played good volleyball all day.

"It would've been good competition (to play Olathe South) and it's been tradition the past couple years to be in the championship with them," she said. "Now, because we had to play the round robin, there wasn't a 'championship match' or anything, but it's nice to have the win."

The Lions (17-3) used a balanced attack all day as they spread out the kills between Griffen, Casey Welch, Riann Deere, Kate Courtney and Jessie Delinger. All five hitters had steady success and they rarely saw multiple blockers.

"When you're having success like we were, it's easier to spread it around," LHS coach Julie Slater said.

Lansing took each of its first five matches in two games. The Lions beat Louisburg, 25-20, 25-22, and Prairie View, 25-10, 25-18. They also overwhelmed Fort Scott, 25-5, 25-6, and Osawatomie, 25-11, 25-7. Paola then posed a stiffer challenge as the Lions won 28-26, 25-22.

The only three-game match for Lansing came in its final match of the day against Blue Valley. LHS took game one, 25-10, behind four kills from Welch, three from Courtney and three aces from Whitney Lozenski. The Tigers rallied and took game two by a 25-18 score, though. Game three went back and forth and was tied at 14-14 before the Lions shut the door with an 11-3 run that was capped by two aces from Keele McLaurin and two more from Deere.

"I thought for the most part the intensity was good all day long," Slater said. "The only time I saw a little bit of a (let-down) was early in the Paola match and then that middle game (against Blue Valley). Other than that, I thought we played pretty well."

The Lions next play at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Piper against Bishop Ward and Piper.

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