The Lady Lions found themselves in a must-win situation on Thursday after playing one of their worst sets of the season. The winless Pekin Panthers went up two sets to one with an emphatic …
The Lady Lions found themselves in a must-win situation on Thursday after playing one of their worst sets of the season. The winless Pekin Panthers went up two sets to one with an emphatic 25-13 win over Lone Tree in the third.
Instead of hanging their heads, the Lady Lions refocused.
“We really stressed passing and defense,” Lone Tree coach Lora Sieverding said, “essentially without either of those we could not get our offense going. In the third set we really struggled with passing the ball, too many of our own errors got us out of sync.
“Our fourth set was all about the pass and communication. Our focus was on getting a good pass to our setter, if that didn’t happen, anyone was able to set the ball. It was a do or die type of mindset.”
Lone Tree extended the match with the help of a pair of blocks from Rylee Shield and Cate Sexton in a 25-16 win.
The Lions pounced early in the decisive set, jumping out to a six-point lead early, which forced a timeout. The Panthers closed the gap, but Lone Tree’s early lead held up in the 21-25, 25-20, 13-25, 25-16, 15-11 win.
“The fourth set was a mental match,” Sieverding said, “being able to let such a bad previous set go, focus on each serve coming at us and not get in our own heads if things went bad.
“It was playing with heart and perseverance — with which they succeeded. Maintaining it through the fifth set was the next challenge and they kept their composure and finished strong.”
After dropping the opening set, Lone Tree rallied back in the second set, narrowly escaping with a 25-20 victory, in part due to the efforts of senior Riley Krueger, who totaled 17 kills over the five set match along with 16 digs and three aces. Sophomore Alex Dautremont had 16 digs as well. Senior Ella Buser had 21 assists and three aces.
On Tuesday, WACO (8-1) remained unbeaten in SEISC North play with a 25-16, 25-9, 25-11 win over Lone Tree. Krueger had five kills and 11 digs. Hogan Eden also had 11 digs and Dautremont had 10.
A tough schedule continues for Lone Tree with matches against conference leaders Wapello and Winfield-Mt. Union. The Lions sit at 2-9 overall on the season.