Lancers shut down Wildcats in District semifinal game

Team plays Borgia tonight for District final game

Sophia Scheller, Staff Reporter

On Oct. 27, the Lady Lancer volleyball team faced elimination to the Wildcats in the Class 5 District 3 girls volleyball tournament hosted by Borgia. It wasn’t the first time the Lancers had come head to head in a high-stakes match with their 109 rivals, as they were swept by the Wildcats in the 2018 State Championship.

“As a team playing our rivals, we stepped up our play a lot by being smart with the ball and picking up our defense,” senior libero Lexi Basler said, “We had a lot more energy throughout the game that helped motivate us to play harder.”

It didn’t start out looking promising for the Lancers though, losing the first set to a motivated Eureka team looking to avenge a loss from earlier in the season.

“They were definitely outworking us [in the first set],” senior Morgan Isenberg said. “Then we were able to flip the switch and come back in the next three sets.”

After a tough first set, with strong attacks from Eureka’s hitters, Lafayette defense, headed by Basler, proved to be too much to handle for Eureka.

“Eureka’s strong hitters gave us a bit of trouble at the start, but we persevered, went for every ball and from there it just clicked,” senior Jenny Nguyen said. “With defense being such an important factor, we were able to just get our hitters in and by that time we were just unstoppable.”

Isenberg and sophomore Caitlyn Little combined for 19 kills, which accounted for about one-fifth of the Lancers’ points during the game.

“Our team was able to carry the momentum from the second set into the next two,” Isenberg said.

The Lancers came out in the third set with a 13-1 run to stifle any Wildcat attempts to come back into the game. Even though they had a 12 point lead at one point, the team was ready for a Wildcat comeback.

“We knew each set started at 0-0, which means we needed to work hard the entire time and sustain the energy we had,” Isenberg said.

But these seniors know that this next game could be their last and are quick to focus back on the task at hand: beating Borgia. Earlier in the season, the team lost their first and only game to Borgia.

“We have definitely grown a lot as a team in the past couple of weeks and we will be going into the game very prepared,” Isenberg said. “They are a very talented team but so are we and I think it’s going to be a really good game.”

The game is being hosted by Borgia, in Washington, MO, at 6 p.m. Masks are required for admission and throughout the game; since it is a Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHAA) event, admission costs $5.