ALBION, IN. – The LaVille (7-22) volleyball team will open the 47th Annual Indiana High School Athletic Association Volleyball State Tournament against Westview (16-16) on Thursday, October 11. The Lancers will play at approximately 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Central Noble is the host site of the Class 2A, Sectional #35 tournament. The first match on Thursday between Churubusco (15-10) and the host Cougars (17-8) will serve at 6 p.m. Prairie Heights (20-10) and Bremen (11-15) each drew a bye and will play Saturday, October 13. The Panthers will play the winner of the Churubusco-Central Noble match at 11 a.m. Saturday. Meanwhile, the Lions take on either Westview or LaVille immediately following. The championship match is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The sectional champ will advance to the Class 2A LaVille Regional Saturday, October 20.
“Westview is traditionally tall and well skilled in all areas of the game,” said LaVille coach Matt Miller. “Westview does have a strong attack game, mainly in Payton May and Gloria Miller. Those two combined account for roughly 80% of their attack game. Our blockers (Julia Hall, Olivia Goze, Karly Unruh and Allison Medors) are going to have to be quick footed, seal the gap in the block and get in their faces to slow them down; it is as simple as that. If we can contain those two a bit, we have a pretty decent shot with strong defense in the back row from Charlet Kapke, Natalie Gonzalez and Isabella Kertai. Our serve receive is pretty solid and as long as we are on there, I believe can handle the strength of their service.”
Kertai leads the Lancers with 109 kills, Medors adds 83, and Rebekah Beehler 72. Team that trio up with Goze and Unruh and LaVille can spray an array of offensive weapons against the Warriors defense.
On the defensive side for LaVille, Kertai and Kapke combine for nearly 800 digs. Gonzalez and Sydney Coblentz are capable of digging up Westview’s offense. Coblentz and Mia Mears set the Lancer offense up, combining for over 330 assists.
“In order for us to make it through this round, we are going to need to play relaxed, but, focus on what we can control,” explained Miller. “Our hitters are going to need to keep that third ball in play and place it well, servers need to keep the ball over and in, setters will need to make smart choices in dishing out the ball and defenders are going to need to stay on their toes ready to move.
“It is all of the things we have worked on in practice all season and will be up to the girls to come together and make it happen,” continued Miller. “We have seen flashes of it throughout the season and it is something when they do it. It’s like we told them last night at the end of practice, win or lose we will be proud of them as long as they go out there and play to the best of their abilities and with heart and leave it all on the court. That is all we can ever ask of them.”