LP aces road test
CROWN POINT — La Porte volleyball coach Cassie Holmquest knew it would take a complete effort for her Slicers to score a Duneland Athletic Conference win against Crown Point on the Bulldogs’ home floor Thursday night.
The Slicers did just that, starting strong in the first game on the way to a 15-point win and then keeping the momentum going to prevail 25-10, 25-21, 25-18.
The big contributors for La Porte (8-0, 2-0 DAC) were many as sophomore Paige Conklin (37 assists, 13 digs, 4 aces), senior Reilly Briggs (19 kills, 11 digs, 2 aces), and junior Annalise Warnock (9 digs, 6 kills) made their presences felt on both offense and defense.
The Slicers received additional contributions from freshman Aniya Kennedy (7 kills, 2 blocks), seniors Gillian Santana (19 digs) and Kara Cooper (7 kills), and junior Lexi Joyner (2 blocks).
“I thought the girls played phenomenal,” Holmquest said. “Everybody contributed and everybody did what they needed to do. We did the things that we watched video on and worked on in practice. It all came down to everybody doing their jobs. Paige Conklin played really well; defense was really solid tonight. I can’t think of anybody who didn’t play well tonight. That is a good thing.”
Briggs was especially strong on the attack, making her presence felt in the first game and at key points throughout the match. She delivered two big kills late in the second game when the Slicers pulled away from a 19-19 tie and stayed visible in the third and deciding game.
La Porte held an 11-10 lead in the third game before eventually closing out the match.
“I think Reilly swings really fast,” Holmquest said, regarding Briggs’ ability to gain advantage on kill situations. “She’s left handed. The middle block has to get there quick; she also has a high jump.”
Briggs said she knew the Bulldogs would come out strong, but she said the big rallies were the key.
“We haven’t beaten them in years, so this is very nice,” she said. “I think winning the first game the way we did gave us a lot of confidence. It was a lot of fun playing them.”
With a the win over Crown Point now in the books, La Porte will be further challenged in upcoming matches against Duneland stalwarts Valparaiso and Michigan City. The Wolves topped the Vikings in five games Thursday.
“We’re loaded upfront with big matches,” Holmquest said. “We see every team in our conference twice. It’s good to play tough competition. Crown Point is still a really good team. Butt hese tough matches will definitely will help us down the road.”