Volleyball bounces back after early losses

Jacob Fisher, Lamp staff

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The Loggers volleyball season got off to a rocky start as they lost three of their four games in the Wichita Sports Forum.  The ladies bounced back at home sweeping their opponents in the first Lincoln Land Invitational of the season.

Lincoln Land Invitational (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1)

The Loggers fell behind in the very first set of the two-day invitational, but their momentum picked up. The ladies kept a close game with Lake Land scraping by 2-3 points in the next three sets.

The Loggers then blew out St. Louis and Kankakee in games 2 and 3.  The ladies only allowed St. Louis to 20 points in the game (12, 12, 13).  While Kankakee brought a little bit of a fight in set 1 of game 3, Loggers slammed the door shut on Kankakee in sets 2 and 3.  Loggers ended up winning by allowing Kankakee 49 points (18, 15, 16).

The series finale saw a back and forth battle between the Loggers and Lewis & Clark.  However, Lincoln Land had to overcome errors in the third set to complete a three-set sweep. The  Loggers allowed Lewis & Clark 58 points in game 3 (18, 20, 20).

The top performers in the first Lincoln Land Invitational were Bobana Marusic (31 digs), Molly Tauke (27 kills), Ashley Melton (11 blocks) and Lainey Jackson (146 assists).

Kirkwood Invitational (Sept. 7 and 8)

Lincoln Land headed to Cedar Rapids, IA for a four-game invitational with a depleted roster. And the ladies came away from the Invitational with a tournament split.  In the first two sets against Central Nebraska, Lincoln Land blew out Central allowing only 32 points. In set 3, while never trailing, the Loggers had a back-and-forth score up to 21. Lincoln Land finally pulled away enough to win the set and swept Central 25-22.

Game 2 of the Invitational was a challenge for Lincoln Land as they battled the Top Ten Highland Scottie.  In the first set, errors were costly for the Loggers as they fell 25-15.  As errors continued over from the first set, Loggers bounced back halfway through the set.  Sets 2 and 3 were close ones, but Loggers couldn’t get a win, only being allowed 57 points (15, 20, 22).

In game 3, Lincoln Land fought close ones, until the fourth set. Loggers came away with a win in the first set 25-21, but fell to Johnson County in the second and third set 25-21.  In the fourth set, Lincoln land saw some effective changes, but couldn’t catch Johnson City.  JCCC pulled away with a final of 25-16.

Lincoln Land Loggers fell behind in the first set of game 4, but bounced back after an early 5-point deficit.  Errors were costly early for Loggers, but the tables were turned when two errors were costly in the end for the JCCC Lady Cavaliers.

In sets 2 and 3, the Loggers shut down the Lady Cavaliers, even though LLCC started the second set off slow.  LLCC exploded on McHenry, only allowing 16 points for McHenry (10, 6).

The top performers in the four-match invitational were Marusic who came away with 48 digs, and Tauke, who ended the invitational with 32 kills.

Parkland Invite (Sept. 21 and 22)

Lincoln Land exploded in the first set of game 1 against Des Moines Area CC, winning 25-15 against the Bears.  But errors became costly for LLCC to hand DMACC the next three sets.

After the errors in the first set, LLCC bounced back in game 2 taking 3 of 4 sets.  The three sets the Loggers won were blow outs against Rock Valley. The second set against Rock Valley was a close one, with Golden Eagles coming away with a 26-24 win.

Going into the second day of the Parkland Invite, LLCC got a split again.  In game 1, Kirkwood started out of the gates strong, before Lincoln Land came back to tie the game.  While the Loggers tried to fight back from unfortunate errors, Kirkwood sealed the first set 25-22.  In the second set vs. Kirkwood, Loggers saw great defensive hustle and offense, which pushed Lincoln Land to a 25-22 win.

The third and fourth set, Lincoln Land collapsed under the pressure, and was unable to pull off a win. Coach Dietz tried a new lineup in the fourth set, but Kirkwood outscored the Loggers a third-way through the set.

The final match of the Parkland Invite, Lincoln Land saw great offense and defense through the first two sets.  Loggers would go on to blowout Muskegon Jayhawks.  Loggers only allowed 26 points (12, 14) for Muskegon in the first 2 sets.

In the third and final set, Loggers kept their offense going, taking a 15-4 lead.  While the Jayhawks made a push to tie the set at 22-all, the Loggers held on and swept the Jayhawks, 27-25.

The top performers in the Parkland Invite were Marusic (60 digs), Kiley Brunstein (26 digs and 64 kills) and Tauke (26 kills).

Jacob Fisher can be reached at [email protected]