Lebanon Reporter

October 26, 2013

Stars down Tigers in semifinals

By Will Willems
Sports Editor

Dover — Dover - Once the Western Boone volleyball team got rolling Saturday afternoon in the sectional semifinals against Lebanon, there was little the Tigers could do to stop it.

The Stars downed the Tigers 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-9) to advance to tonight's sectional finals.

"I thought the girls played awesome," Western Boone head coach Laura Lawson said. "It was definitely a team effort. Passing was really good from Kaitlin (Miller) and I was really impressed with how good our blocking was from Jenna (Chance) and BayLee (Mitchell)."

Lebanon finished the season 16-19.

They defeated Frankfort in the opening round of the sectional to advance to the semis.

"I think some of inexperience showed a little bit," Lebanon head coach Steve Hawthorne said. "Western Boone is a tough team and they have been in this position many times."

Lebanon was close in game one, trailing just 11-10 early. They appeared to have the tying point, but were called for a net violation that gave Western Boone a 12-10 lead.

From there, Western Boone closed out the first set and weren't challenged in the final two.

"I think that goes back to us continuing to work hard and develop that mental toughness," Hawthorne said. "We need to learn to persevere. It wasn't quite in the cards today, but I look for us to be back in this position a lot."

Lawson said she though the biggest difference after the beginning of the match was the Stars getting their block established.

"I think it was our blocking," Lawson said when asked about the difference. "We started to get in their heads and their strongest thing is their hitting. Once you take out their two big hitters, it is harder for them to compete."

Emily Harrison led the way with 12 kills and seven digs. Lauren Marsh added seven kills and a team-best nine digs.

Mitchell had three kills and Lydia Climer had 26 assists. Miller added six digs, while Chance led the team with four blocks.

The Stars face Crawfordsville at 7 p.m. tonight.

"We are definitely going to focus on stopping Taylor Luft," Lawson said. "She is there go-to player. But Kristen Spolyar is just as good of a hitting as she is, so that was good practice for tonight. If we could stop Spolyar, we can stop Luft."

For Lebanon it was an end to a roller coaster season.

Hawthorne said he thought the team took strides forward in his first season at the helm.

"We saw a lot of things that we are going to have to work on and develop," he said. "The skills came a long way this season, but we have to keep developing that. Our game plan is something we have to work on. Learning to compete is something we have to keep working on."

Hannah Stefanik led the team with eight kills and eight digs.

Spolyar had six kills and Kallee Rice had 13 assists.

The Tigers will have to replace Rice, Stefanik and Cheyenne Marshall next season.

"Obviously losing Kallee as a three-year starter at setter is going to change a lot," Hawthorne said. "We will have to find someone to take over there. Hannah has been a big leader for us on the court and Cheyenne has been a great emotional support for the team. She has had a great attitude all season and been one of the hardest workers on the team."