Step by Step: Lyle-Pacelli shows continued improvement in loss to Grand Meadow

Published 10:03 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

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LYLE — The Athletics did not look like a volleyball team that hadn’t won a game this season, but in the end Lyle-Pacelli showed that it still has one final step to take before its vast improvement from last year appears on its win-loss record.

The Athletics need to learn how to finish.

Despite being in every game down the stretch, L-P was swept by the Grand Meadow Superlarks by scores of 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 Monday night.

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“We give everybody a run for their money, and then we get to 20 and it’s like they just don’t know how to win. The battle all season has been picking up those last five points,” L-P head coach Faith King said. “It’s been so long since we’ve been winning and most of those older kids have no experience of winning. They get to that point and they think we’re a bad team again, but we’re not.”

L-P (0-15 overall) led 6-1 early in game one, which was tied at 18 before GM pulled away and the Athletics were also within 17-14 in game two and tied at 20 in the final game.

GM (8-7 overall) was able to take L-P’s best shot and pull off the road win as Lexy Foster and Lauren Queensland each came up with timely kills throughout the night.

“(L-P) improved a lot in the last year and they were tough for us tonight. We struggled a lot against them. They’ve really come far as a team,” Foster said. “A lot of our younger players have had to play bigger roles this season and they’ve done well for the most part. We’ve had to switch up our rotation and everyone has handled it pretty well.”

Junior Morgan Klankowski, who had five kills for L-P, has seen the improvement her team has made, but she knows the team is capable of playing even better.

“We’re improving our skills, we want it more every time and a lot of the younger girls are helping us get better,” Klankowski said. “We’ve been working on a lot of things that we hadn’t worked on before in practice. We’ve been having a lot of this. It builds our confidence, but we want to cross that line and get a win.”

While King would love to see her team start winning matches, she’s still happy with the progress the Athletics have made.

“We’re really young and the young kids do incredibly well,” King said. “We just need to finish. Last year to this year is like night and day and I think they are realizing that. This year we’re absolutely able to play with these teams.”

L-P stats: Autumn Drennan, 6 kills, 11 set assists, 1 ace, 3 digs; Kate Rauen, 7 digs; Avari Drennan, 6 kills, 2 aces, 5 digs; Audrey Wilde, 1 dig; Morgan Klankowski, 5 kills, 1 block; Jada Lefi, 1 kill, 1 ace, 2 digs; Carleigh Rymer, 2 digs; Jacey Bednar, 1 kill, 2 aces, 1 dig