Vikes sweep at home
Lakeview volleyball hosted just its second and third home matches of the season in triangular sweep of Boone Central/Newman Grove and Nebraska Christian on Tuesday.
The Lady Vikes swept the Cardinals first by set scores of 25-8 and 25-11 then carried over that dominance in a 25-11, 25-20 win over the Eagles.
The wins improved Lakeview to 10-3 on the season and extended the win streak to four after another triangular sweep last Thursday at Aurora.
Coach K.C. Belitz was interested to see how his team would respond after their first Saturday off of the season. The girls gave him exactly what he was looking for.
“The message was that we were pretty pleased with how we played Thursday, and it was real important we continue that tonight because we knew we’d have a a good test,” he said. “The message was we have to make a habit of being at that level and expecting to win tough matches.
“This was another one of those benchmarks for us to see if we’re making progress or not.”
Tuesday’s opener was as lopsided as the set scores indicated.
Lakeview only trailed once, ran off three rallies of five points or longer and led by 10 points or more twice.
Reese Janssen served 12 consecutive points in the first set that built a 20-3 Lady Vikes advantage. Janssen had three aces during the run, Abby Kapels recorded two kills and Lakeview picked up six free points on Boone Central/Newman Grove mistakes.
Britney Stocky and Kapels each collected three kills in the set, Kapels also blocked a shot and Kaycee Grotelueschen had an ace of her own.
The Cardinals scored the first point of the second set, but that amounted to their only lead of the night. The Lady Vikes responded with six straight rallies and 10 of the next 13.
Emily Van Cleave scored four of the first six points for her side on two kills and two aces while four hitting errors and a serving error furthered the advantage to 10-4.
A Kapels kill, error, Van Cleave kill, Katee Korte block and kill essentially put it out of reach again with a 14-5 advantage.
Van Cleave added two more kills before the end of the set, Ana Valdez sent one to the floor then Stock scored three of the final four points for the set win on two kills and a block.
“Kaycee kept the strong serving going with six or seven of the first points against Christian. She’s really a great weapon serving, and she got us off to a great start,” Belitz said. “That didn’t continue. (Nebraska Christian) wasn’t about to be served off the court, but against Boone Central, we really had them out of system.”
The victory over the Eagles meant a victory over a ranked team.
Nebraska Christian is No. 5 in the D-1 rankings.
“It was really about the start in that match, then they got a little tight, a little frustrated,” Belitz said. “We were loose and it snowballed as it does in this game. We knew they would come out better in the second set. We didn’t really do anything wrong in the second set, they just played better.
“At this point of the season you’re really looking for that consistency, that habit of being good. I thought that was a key question we were going to answer tonight. We’re really into the heart of the season now, meaning tonight was important in continuing to see progress.”