Lutheran High earns signature win with straight-sets triumph over Clarkson/Leigh
CLARKSON – Lutheran High Northeast’s volleyball team made the trip down Highway 57 to Clarkson on Tuesday with the intention of bringing home two wins. Mission accomplished.
“For the most part we came in and took care of business, Eagle coach Kathy Gebhardt said. “I thought our defense stepped it up, I thought our libero (Halle Berner) stepped up her level of play like we’ve kind of been pushing her to do and good things happen.”
Clarkson/Leigh opened the triangular with a victory over 10-7 Shelby-Rising City, 25-22, 25-12. Lutheran High followed that with a 25-15, 25-20 win over Shelby-Rising City to set up the main event between the Class D No. 4 Eagles and Class C No. 3 Patriots.
After a Becca Gebhardt kill off the block gave Lutheran High an early 4-1 first-set lead, neither team was able to string together more than two consecutive points until Gebhardt started a three-point Eagle rally with a kill from the left side. Matty Boning followed with a service ace then Chloe Spence found an open space in the Patriot defense to make the score 21-17.
After Clarkson/Leigh coach Becky Schneider called time out, two Lutheran High attack errors and an Ashlynn Novotny kill cut the Eagle lead to 21-20.
Gebhardt called time out to stop the Patriots’ momentum and it worked perfectly. The Eagles closed the set with two more Becca Gebhardt kills, a stifling double block by Grace Bitney and Kendra Rosberg and another two-handed kill by Spence.
“They did everything we expected them to do,” a disappointed Schneider said. “They attacked well, they made plays on out-of-system balls, they tipped, we were just caught out of position a few times and we couldn’t stop them. Our block was off and our defense was just not there.”
Clarkson/Leigh led early in the second set, but Lutheran High was able to tie the score at nine after a service error. The Eagles then rattled off four straight points with a two Rosberg kills and a pair of Patriot attack errors.
Lutheran High led by no fewer than two points for the remainder of the set as Rosberg and Boning executed a perfect double block to force a match point at 24-19.
“Both of our middles were up there putting up big blocks -- Matty Boning and Grace Bitney -- and helping from the right side on that outside attack,” Gebhardt said. “Our blockers did a huge job for us tonight.”
The Eagles tried to put the match away with two kill attempts by Gebhardt and one by Boning that all sailed long.
“We do want them to swing hard and swing aggressive but you need them to swing smart at that point and finish and get that last point,” coach Gebhardt said.
“The first couple of swings hard maybe okay, but after that, you’ve got to keep it in, and you’ve got to trust our defense to finish it if we need to.”
Spence did finish it with another two-handed kill.
Schneider said her Patriots weren’t as energized as they should’ve been. “I don’t think we battled as well as we could have with Lutheran High at all.
“Our passing was off, which we couldn’t set up our offense in that case and then we never really got into a big run at all. They shut us down.”
Meanwhile, coach Gebhardt liked the direction her team seems to be heading. “I think our defense is improving, I think our blocking is doing a really nice job, our serve-receive was a lot better tonight, probably just eliminating some of those hitting errors will probably be the big thing from tonight.”
Schneider said she expects her team to learn a lot in defeat. “We didn’t bring what we know how to bring. We didn’t play our well-rounded game. Our flow was off. We didn’t execute the way we wanted to. We’ve got to make plays.”
Lutheran High Northeast defeats Clarkson/Leigh
LUTHERAN HIGH NORTHEAST (16-6): Kendra Rosberg 4k, 1s, 1a, 4d; Matty Boning 1s, 1b, 7d; Chloe Spence 1k, 14s, 1b, 9d; Becca Gebhardt 8k, 4a, 11d; Grace Bitney 5k, 1b, 5d; Morgan Holdorf 1b, 5d; Halle Berner 1s, 12d; Maddie Becker 3d.
CLARKSON/LEIGH (15-5): Beth Wiese 6k; Ashlynn Novotny 7k, 1b, 1d; Kaegan Held 3k, 22s, 7d; Halee Steffensmeier 5d; Cassidy Hoffman 3k, 1b, 3d; Hannah Kasik 6k, 8d; Holly Kuhr 5d; Sara McEvoy 1k, 1s, 6d.
Clarkson/Leigh defeats Shelby-Rising City
SHELBY-RISING CITY (10-9): Jamie Hopwood 1a, 1s, 13d; Jenna Nekl 1k, 13s, 3d; Taylor Potter 2d; Maddy O’Dell 4s; Reece Ingalls 6k, 7d; Jayce Vrbka 2s, 1d; Clare Kohl 3d; Jordie Nekl 4k, 1s, 5d; Kamryn Pokorney 12k.
CLARKSON/LEIGH: Beth Wiese 2k; Kaegan Held 3a, 21s, 1b, 2d; Ashlynn Novotny 5k, 1s, 1d; Cassidy Hoffman 5k, 1b; Hannah Kasik 10k, 1b, 2d; Paige Moore 2k; Sara McEvoy 1k, 1s, 1a; Halee Steffensmeier 5d; Holly Kuhr 5d.
Lutheran High Northeast defeats Shelby-Rising City
SHELBY-RISING CITY: Jamie Hopwood 1a, 16d; Maddie Hopwood 1d; Jenna Nekl 11s, 5d; Taylor Potter 1k, 1d; Maddy O’Dell 6s, 4d; Jayce Vrbka 2s; Reece Ingalls 3k, 1b, 12d; Jordie Nekl 9k, 14d; Clare Kohl 6d; Kamryn Pokorney 6k, 5d.
LUTHERAN HIGH NORTHEAST: Kendra Rosberg 4k, 1s, 1a, 10d; Matty Boning 2k, 1b, 3a, 4d; Chloe Spence 3k, 19s, 6d; Becca Gebhardt 10k, 1s, 1b, 7d; Grace Bitney 1k, 1b, 2d; Morgan Holdorf 3k, 1b, 3d; Halle Berner 15d; Chloe Bitney 1a; Amber Bockelman 1s, 3d.