Lyle-Pacelli volleyball team opens with a win over Houston
Published 9:53 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Lyle-Pacelli volleyball team not only overcame a tough injury to one of its projected starters to open the season, it also picked up a long awaited win over Houston as it beat the Hurricanes 22-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 in Pacelli Gym Thursday night.
The Athletics were feeling good about their chances three days ago, but then projected starter Bethany Strouf, a sophomore, was injured in practice and the team had to re-align itself in a short period of time. Seventh grader Olivia Christianson and freshman Kendal Truckenmiller filled in for Strouf as the Athletics (1-0 overall, 1-0 SEC) beat Houston for the first time under head coach Lindsay Leif.
“Bethany’s such a crucial player to our team, but it shows how much our program is up when you can bring in younger girls who haven’t played that much,” Leif said.
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LP was led by the hitting of Sarah Holtz, who had 26 kills and Madison Truckenmiller, who had 13 kills. Truckenmiller said she was surprised how quickly the younger hitters picked up the varsity game.
LP eighth grader Lucy Nelson had eight kills and eighth grader Faith King had 17 digs.
“We didn’t have to help them as much as we thought we would,” Truckenmiller said. “They picked it up pretty fast, but sometimes they get kind of lost and we’d help them.”
LP opened the first game with a 13-7 lead, but the Hurricanes stormed back to take it away. LP bounced back in the next couple of games and Truckenmiller helped seal the match in game four as she had three kills down the stretch.
Holtz said the slow start helped the Athletics focus and get back on their game.
“I think it was a wake up call,” Holtz said. “We were trying to get our jitters out and we had a lot of girls that hadn’t played varsity before. They started to get used to it once we got in the flow of it. That first game was big.”
Leif said the second and third games were a big step for an LP team that has struggled with momentum in past years.
“That was huge that we were able to bounce back, because in the past when we were down, we couldn’t come back,” Leif said. “I think they believe in their ability a little bit more now.”
LP stats: Sarah Holtz, 26 kills, 13 digs, 18-for-20 on serve receives; Madison Truckenmiller, 13 kills, 3 ace blocks; Lucy Nelson, 8 kills; Brooke Watler, 7 digs, 14-for-17 serving, 5 ace serves; Faith Kings, 17 digs, 36-for-38 serve receive; Courtney Walter, 34 set assists, 5 ace serves, 19-for-20 serving