By Kari Basey
It was another busy week for the Lyons Volleyball team, playing five matches, two regular season matches and a weekend tournament. The first match of the week on Tuesday, September 13, pitted Lyons against Weld Central.
The Lady Lions lost in three straight games 16-25, 18-25 and 16-25, as the Rebels dominated in every statistical category but one - blocking. Michelle Hickey was the one bright spot as she recorded 4 blocks in the short match. The JV and C teams mirrored the varsity outcome with both teams losing 13-25, 17-25 (JV) and 8-25, 17-25 (C).
Friday, the Lady Lions faced the Indians of Yuma prior to the home football game. This was by far the most exciting match the Lady Lions have played this season. Midway into the first game, Madeline Keen, the setter and offensive leader of the Lions, suffered an ankle sprain and was out of the game. This required some quick thinking by the coaching staff as you are not allowed to change your rotation within the game; you may only substitute the injured player. Lauren Simpson (front-row) and Amber Boyington (back-row) entered the match for Keen and played very well. Freshman Sydney Stevelinck, (starting outside hitter) took over the setting reins and kept her composure under pressure as the team pulled together to win the first game 25-23, with every member of the team contributing to the win.
In the second game the Lady Lions found themselves behind 17-23. Joelle Holst started serving tough, and the team roared (pun intended) back from a six-point deficit to win 27-25. In the third game of the match, Yuma improved their play and Lyons lost 21-25. The fourth game was another close battle with both teams having set point. Eventually, Lyons won the set 26-24 and the match as the players celebrated on the court. Head-coach Jeff Klipstein concluded, “This was a great home win after a serious injury to our setter. The team pulled together and this was truly a team win with players stepping up all around the court.”
There were many noteworthy individual performances. Stevelinck had 21 assists (sets culminating in a kill). Serving consistently were Shannon Gilman, Nola Basey (2 aces), Rebecca Weglarz (2 aces), and Joelle Holst (1 ace). Hickey dominated the net with 7 blocks. Weglarz (11 digs), and Holst and Basey (10 digs each) played solid defense. Offensively, Basey had 16 kills, Gilman 7, and Stevelinck 4 (hitting a remarkable .800 hitting percentage).
The JV team also performed well despite losing in three games to the Indians 25-17, 24-26, 7-15. Coach Paula Maguire was happy with her team’s performance as the “passing overall was much better. The girls did a great job of noticing the holes on the opponent’s side and trying to get the ball into those holes.”
The C team also had a three set match but was on the winning end 25-18, 19-25 and 15-7. Coach Valerie Stuczynski enjoyed the energy her team brought to the match and hi-lighted her team’s improvement in serve receive.
With little recovery time, the varsity team was back on the court at the Alexander Dawson Tourney, Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Their first opponent was Peak-to-Peak High School. Peak-to-Peak beat the Lions solidly the first game 25-17. Next, the Lions came clawing (again, pun intended) back again to play a close set in the second, and in typical fashion, won 26-24. With all cylinders firing, they dominated the third and final set winning 25-14.
Key defense by Holst (9 digs), Basey (8) and Weglarz (7) helped contribute to the win. Basey once again led the offense with 13 kills (.572); Simpson added 2 kills (.400). Hickey once again led blocking efforts with 7 blocks. Holst and Gilman were key servers in the match. Stevelinck had 18 assists.
With no rest for the weary, the Lions began their second match of the morning against Colorado Springs. This match was all Colorado Springs as the Lions lost 14-25 and 13-25. During the second set, Basey left the game with an eye problem. Once again the Lady Lions had to scramble, which had become the norm rather than the exception this week. Although the match was short, Lauren Simpson led the team in blocks, Genna Gibson in digs, Basey in kills.
The final match of the day was against the home team, Alexander Dawson. The Lions rebounded from their earlier loss by beating Dawson 25-16, 25-10. Stevelinck had 13 assists, Weglarz 3. Holst had a strong digging performance with 13. Basey led the team in serving aces with 4 and kills with 13 (.705), Gillman added 6 kills (.455).
The Lady Lions finished the tournament earning third place honors, and Coach Klipstein seemed somewhat satisfied with the result. “As a team, we played a complete game, time and time again. We did a good job working together despite some difficult times with injury and sickness. I would have preferred to win the tournament of course, but given the situation, I think our girls did a great job and they have a lot to be proud of.”
The next home game for the Lady Lions is Tuesday, September 27, against Highland. The C team plays at 4:30 p.m., JV at 5:30 p.m., and the Varsity plays at 6:30p.m. Come support your team!