ST. PETER – It wasn’t pretty for many LeSueur-Henderson volleyball fans, but the end result is the same that it has been for the last six year, the Giants are in the Section 2AA championship game Saturday night in St. Peter. LSH defeated New Richland-Heartland-Ellendale-Geneva 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23 to win the Section 2AA South Sub-Section Championship.
LeSueur-Henderson would battle NRHEG in the first set that would be back and forth battle for the teams. NRHEG would go on a 3-0 run to take the biggest lead to the point with a 12-9 lead on the attack of All-State outside attacker Anna Schlaak.NRHEG would have a 17-15 lead before LSH would go on a 10-1 run thanks to a big service set by senior Gretta Schultz with three aces in the big run to seal up the first set for LSH.
The second set would see LSH jump out to a big leads of 6-1 thanks to the attack of Gabby Thomas and Jessica Thelemann. NRHEG would not go away in the set as they would come back with a 4-0 run of Anna Schlaak to make the score 6-5, LSH. The Giants would again extend their lead to five at 15-10, but again NRHEG would get the score to one at 17-16, LSH before the Giants would put them away. LSH would win the second set 25-21 to go up two sets to none.
The third set would be like the first set in that it would be close early before a big attack from sophomore Carlie Wagner to put NRHEG on a 9-2 run to make the score 15-8, NRHEG. LSH head coach Dave Nixon would use both of his timeouts during the run to settle the team down. The Giants would slowly get back into the match by making it 23-21, NRHEG. LSH would use the attack from off the bench of Rebecca Meyer and Danica Tiegs. NRHEG would finish off the set with back-to-back kills from Anna Schlaak to win the set 25-22.
The Giants coach Dave Nixon preached to the girls between sets to pass well and play up to their potential. It would take a while in the fourth set, but LSH would finally find their strength late in the set to win the match. It would start with NRHEG going on back to back 3-0 runs on service errors by the Giants to jump out to a 11-5 lead. For the second set in a row both timeouts would be used by LSH by the time the score was 15-9, NRHEG. The Giants would slowly get their passing to improve as the set progressed and would get the score down to 20-18, NRHEG before the Panthers head coach Joe Kiechenmeister would use their first timeout of the set. LSH would get their block up on NRHEG and would force the second timeout at 22-20, NRHEG. The Panthers would get the first point out of the timeout and then the biggest point of the night would happen.
On a missed set at the net Anna Schlaak would try to attack the ball, but was not able to get the ball above the tape and was hit again by NRHEG making it a 4-touch violation from the up referee. At the same the down referee made a net violation call on LSH. The meeting between the two refs would end up being a positive result for LSH and would start a 5-0 run finished off by a Gabby Thomas kill to win the set and match 25-23 and advance to the Section 2AA Championship.
LSH improves to 22-8 on the season and advances to the Section 2AA Championship against Jordan on Saturday night at 7:45pm. That game can be heard on 1350 AM KCHK.
By: Adam Bartels