Lakeview volleyball looking to return to positive vibes
K.C. Belitz said he is hoping Lakeview volleyball can recapture some of the positive vibes it was feeling just a week ago when the Lady Vikes were coming off a stretch of 12 wins in 14 matches and set up for a contest with crosstown rival Scotus Central Catholic.
Since then, however, Lakeview has lost to Scotus in three sets and went 1-2 on Saturday at the 10th annual Columbus Classic, losing to the host Discoverers, defeating Norfolk Catholic then ending with a loss to Beatrice.
Undoubtedly, Lakeview’s head coach said, something is missing.
“I would say we’re probably more frustrated than encouraged,” Belitz said. “Columbus High played really well and they continue to improve. When you look at their match with Hastings compared to their match with Hastings earlier in the season, clearly Columbus High is playing well. We knew that was a toss-up match, but I don’t think any of us were pleased with how we went about that. Then the Beatrice match, it’s kind of the same story. Beatrice is solid, but we felt that was a winnable match.
“We don’t want to take anything away from Columbus High and Beatrice, but none of really felt like we reached our potential on Saturday.”
Columbus took down Lakeview 25-23 in the opening set then completed the sweep 25-18, the Lady Vikes responded with a 25-20, 27-29, 25-18 win over Norfolk Catholic then lost a 25-21, 27-25 decision to Beatrice.
Lakeview saved a handful of match points but couldn’t ultimately hold off the Lady Orange.
The Lady Vikes hit just .023 and .094 in the losses, had 18 kills from Abby Kapels in the win, but put together an average .163 percentage overall in the victory against the Knights.
“One thing that stands out is serve receive. We were not in the system nearly enough. That made us slow and predictable,” Belitz said. “That’s not our game. We have to be quick. We run a fast offense and have to be multiple, and we just weren’t because we weren’t in system enough.”
Kapels totaled 32 kills for the tournament and had two double-doubles, Britney Stock put together 25 kills, Emily Van Cleave had 37 total digs with double-digit digs in each match, Mattie Purcell did the same with a total of 52 including 29 in the win over Norfolk Catholic.
Reese Janssen set up 80 assists across the three matches.
“I just don’t see us playing with a lot of confidence right now compared to where we were in that Aurora tournament,” Belitz said. “We played a couple good teams, and had a couple losses, and I don’t know if that was it or what exactly. We talked a lot about that really over the last week. I don’t know any solution to that except continuing to work hard.
“If you want to have confidence, you have to earn it.”
Lakeview softball at Central Conference Tournament
Lakeview softball twice allowed nine-run third innings and was quickly eliminated from the Central Conference Tournament on Friday, going 0-2 and seeing its season record drop to 12-13.
Lakeview first defeated by York 12-3, then lost to Hastings Adams Central, 12-7. They scratched out just five hits in the opening loss then managed one more than that total in the second loss.
“We weren’t hitting poorly, we were just hitting it right at them,” coach Erica Zywiec said. “Our opponents kept finding the holes that we couldn’t. We had a decent amount of hits, and we were putting the ball in play, just couldn’t find a way to get runners around.′
York kept Lakeview hitless in the first game between the two teams, a 12-0 Dukes’ win on Sept. 13, couldn’t keep the Lady Vikes off the base paths the second time around.
After York scored three in its first at-bat, Lakeview answered with two in the bottom of the second. The Dukes plated nine moments later and essentially put the game away.
Jessica Sand had two hits, one a double, and drove in two runs.
“I was proud of the way the girls played against York for the first couple of innings. We didn’t play bad defensively. But again, we weren’t finding holes and they were,” Zywiec said. “Against Adams Central, we played really good until the third inning and then they just kept hitting our pitchers, and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
The second game saw both sides plate three in the first, Lakeview take a 7-3 advantage with four in the second but Adams Central send the Lady Vikes home on another Mercy Rule loss with nine in the third and five more in the fourth.
Kaylea Bailey doubled, homered and drove in five runs.
Lakeview will now prepare for district play on Thursday in Wisner. Other teams in the bracket include hosts Northeast Nebraska, Bennington, Blair, North Bend, Schuyler and South Sioux City.
“The girls aren’t necessarily down on themselves about it. A lot of that was out of their control, and we talk about controlling what we can and not worrying about what we can’t,” Zywiec said. “They just have to put their nose down and fight through a whole game. We have to finish games. That’s where we’re struggling right now.
“We have talked about all season coming out and playing like we know we can and having a shot to make it to state. They just have to put it together and believe it and play the softball we know how to play.”
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com