Rebels stay grounded to sweep hustling Athletics

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

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ADAMS – The Southland volleyball team had to overcome a young, scrappy Lyle-Pacelli volleyball team as it was able to pull off a 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 win in Adams Thursday.

The Rebels had been struggling with their attack this season, but their hitters were able to get ample opportunities against an L-P team that was in defensive mode for much of the night. Southland senior Katelyn McCabe hammered home a match-high 10 kills, while also adding 10 digs.

I think that we have the skill set and we hit really well in practice, but we get antsy when game time comes and leave a little early and our timing gets messed up,” McCabe said. “I think we’ve improved our last two games after our first two games were pretty rough.”

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L-P trailed the final game 20-11, but it was able to close within 23-20 before the Rebels put them away. L-P was also within 15-14 in the first game before Southland (1-3 overall) rallied.

Their setter dumps it and they tend to get it over on two hits instead of three, which is different. That’s a lot harder to read because we’re so used to three hits,” said Southland sophomore Shannon Keifer, who had five kills and 10 digs. “I was watching from the back row and when I’m in the front row, I hit the spots that I saw earlier.”

The Athletics use a big group of middle schoolers in their lineup, but the team played fearless, even when Southland was rallying.

Southland head coach Michelle Nelsen was pleased with how her team held up against LP’s effort.

“You can never count (L-P) out. They’re always scrappy, they put the ball in play and you have to expect the unexpected with them,” Nelsen said. “We’ve been doing a different style this year where we’re speeding up our attack a little bit and we’re definitely seeing progression in the right direction.”

Southland stats: Julia Kiefer 9 assists, 2 aces; Breeley Galle 3 blocks; Nevaeh Shaw 4 kills; Katelyn McCabe 10 kills, 10 digs, 1 block; Maren Wehrenberg 12 assists; Shannon Kiefer 5 kills, 10 digs; Abby Sorgatz 8 digs; Ava Payne 3 aces.