Lutheran High falls to Lakeview in four sets
NORFOLK -- A pair of solid outside hitters and stout defense provided the recipe for Columbus Lakeview to hold on and defeat Lutheran High Northeast on Tuesday night at the Andrews Activities Center 25-22, 25-20, 25-27, 25-15.
Seniors Abby Kapels and Emily Van Cleave provided the firepower for the Vikings by recording 17 and 13 kills respectively.
“If we’re going to be good, as with any team, your seniors better deliver and more often than not, Abby and Emily delivered tonight as did Britney Stock in the middle,” Lakeview coach KC Belitz said.
The Vikings boss also praised his team’s work behind the service line, despite recording just five aces on the night.
“Lutheran High’s a really good passing team, so if we’re not serving really tough we’re going to end up getting a kill the other way.”
The Eagles’ own outside hitter Becca Gebhardt delivered a match-high 24 kills, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the taller Vikings.
“I give them a lot of credit; their outsides swung really well tonight,” Lutheran High coach Kathy Gebhardt said. “I just felt we didn’t’ have a lot of energy on our side of the court or even in the gym and trying to figure out how do we fix that, how do we have a little more passion, a little more energy out on the court overall.”
Three consecutive Lutheran High attack errors allowed the Vikings to jump out to the early lead in the first set, but the Eagles fought back and after consecutive Gebhardt kills led 15-13. Another Gebhardt kill later in the set tied the score at 22, but tip kills by Van Cleave and Reese Janssen and a Kapels block provided Lakeview with the winning margin.
“Defensively, we played really well,” Belitz said. “Just some good hustle plays that took points that were going to be Lutheran High kills. We didn’t win all of them but we won a lot of them and those are just killers for momentum.”
Lutheran High got a break in the second set when the officials penalized the Vikings for a rotation violation. That changed the score in Lakeview’s favor from 17-12 to 16-13. Lutheran High pulled to within 20-19 following a Grace Bitney kill and solo block by Matty Boning but Kapels and Van Cleave delivered two kills apiece down the stretch to give the Vikings a commanding two sets to none lead.
“There were times we played really well,” coach Gebhardt said. “We just didn’t put it together consistently and we needed a little more firepower coming from some different places. We probably went to our back-row attack a little too much.”
The third set provided the crowed with plenty of entertainment as it included several long rallies in which both teams made tremendous defensive plays to keep the balls alive. Lutheran High led most of the way and had a set point at 24-22, but a pair of Stock solo blocks and a Kapels kill gave the Vikings a 25-24 lead and a match point.
Gebhardt then delivered a monster kill to tie it up. Lutheran High took the lead after a Lakeview attack error then another Gebhardt kill, this one off the block, earned the Eagles the set.
“Lutheran High’s a nice squad,” Belitz said. “They’re always well-coached, always going to make you earn it, never going to make very many mistakes and that’s exactly what you saw.”
But the Eagles couldn’t transfer the momentum from the third-set win into the fourth. Lakeview jumped out to a 10-3 lead and cruised to the 25-15 final margin.
With the loss, Lutheran High dropped to 18-7 on the season and will not play again until next week: Tuesday at home against Class C top-ranked Stanton and Thursday at No. 4 Wayne.
“We have to focus on a lot of things,” coach Gebhardt said. “It’s the end of the quarter, the girls have got to finish up academically, but then we have to be ready to get out there and sharpen up everything.
“I thought we looked a little tired so we may have to do a little more conditioning and push to be ready to go for the long haul.”
Despite playing a schedule made up primarily of Class B and C1 schools, coach Belitz had loads of admiration for Class D1 Lutheran High. “We knew darn well this was going to be a great challenge for us and we had to play really well. Lutheran High is certainly up there with the better teams we’ve played this year, no question.”
Columbus Lakeview defeats Lutheran High Northeast
25-22, 25-20 25-27, 25-15
COLUMBUS LAKEVIEW (14-8): Abby Kapels 17k, 1b; Britney Stock 8k, 3a, 3b; Emily Van Cleave 13k, 1a; Kaycee Grotelueschen 7k, 1b; Ashley Behlen 4k, 2b; Reese Janssen 3k, 1a.
LUTHERAN HIGH NORTHEAST (18-7): Kendra Rosberg 5k, 1s, 2b, 1a, 16d; Matty Boning 6k, 1b, 9d; Chloe Spence 2k, 36s, 1a, 28d; Becca Gebhardt 24k, 1s, 20d; Grace Bitney 2k, 1s, 2b, 5d; Morgan Holdorf 4k, 1s, 1a, 5d; Halle Berner 1s, 34d; Kendra Larsen 1s, Maddie Becker 17d; Amber Bockelman 2a, 1d.