STEVENSVILLE – It was a special night for the Lakeshore volleyball team.
The Lancers defeated rival St. Joseph 25-14, 25-17, 25-13 Wednesday in front of a packed gym in Dig Pink action.
"In the beginning, I was a little worried just because there was a lot of energy and it was hard to hear," Lakeshore coach Sarah Strefling said." The first few passes were really tight, but the girls settled in and found their way.
"In set two, we started slow but once we got rolling it was good. In set three, I felt we really made a statement."
St. Joseph struck first in set one with a Taylor Valdes kill as the two teams traded points early. The Lancers took a 17-11 lead at the first timeout of the set and ended the set on an 8-3 run.
St. Joseph started strong in the second set and jumped out to a 14-13 lead, but the Lancers clamped down and ended the set on a 12-3 run. The third set saw Lakeshore get off to its best start of the night and pull away early.
Lakeshore's Lily Cashen had 11 kills, two aces, and 14 digs and Sierra Ciesielski six kills, two aces, three blocks, and six digs. Valdes led St. Joseph with six digs, four kills, and two aces, while Karly Klaer tallied one dig, four kills, and seven assists.
The young Bears played inspired volleyball throughout the night and showed promise.
"My girls played with so much energy," St. Joseph coach Heather Briney-Kelm said. "They love this game and they work every day on getting 1 percent better. Next week, we're gonna be better than we are right now and that's all I can ask for."
For St. Joseph, playing in a playoff atmosphere like the Dig Pink event was an exciting experience filled with teachable moments.
"Win or lose, it's a win for our community," Briney-Kelm said. "This is an amazing place to be and it gives me chills seeing so many people supporting the exact same cause even though we're battling each other. As far as I'm concerned, everybody wins tonight."
The Lancers will enjoy the win tonight and get back to work tomorrow. Strefling hopes her team can channel the momentum gained from Wednesday's win and use it to power through the rest of conference play.
"It's fun to beat St. Joseph, but it's another win in the conference which is exciting for us," Strefling said. "We want to be known in the conference as a team that's competitive. That's what I said when I took this position and I'm standing true to that. I don't want us to be a team that's considered an 'easy win'.
"That's where we're at and I want them to continue to grow and not be complacent. I want them to strive to get better every day."
Lakeshore d. St. Joseph 25-14, 25-17, 25-13
Lakeshore – Lily Cashen 11 kills, 2 aces, 14 digs; Emma Meyer 35 assists, 1 ace, 1 block, 2 digs; Bailey Joachim 10 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks, 6 digs; Sierra Ciesielski 6 kills, 2 aces, 3 blocks, 6 digs; Cali Allen 6 kills, 5 digs.
St. Joseph – Morgan Champion 4 digs, 1 block; Kate Gersonde 3 digs; Olivia Blackmond 6 digs; Alaina Hughes 1 dig; Lauryn Griffin 3 digs, 1 block, 2 kills; Audrey Nowell 1 dig, 2 assists; Karenna Sohn 1 dig, 2 kills; Courtney Koch 2 kills, 1 assist; Ainsley Hegg 1 dig, 2 digs, 4 assists; Sophie Arent 1 dig, 1 assist; Taylor Valdes 6 digs, 4 kills, 2 aces; Avery Burnette 1 dig; Karly Klaer 1 dig, 4 kills, 7 assists.
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