MIDDLE POINT — Lincolnview bent a little, but did not break.
In Thursday’s huge Northwest Conference volleyball showdown against cross-county rival Crestview, Lincolnview took Crestview’s biggest shots, and fought them off, en route to a four-set victory over the Knights 26-28, 26-24, 25-21 and 25-22 at Lincolnview.
With the win, Lincolnview (8-0 NWC, 18-2 overall) grabs the outright NWC crown. Paulding finishes second in the conference, while Crestview (6-2 NWC) will finish the regular season third in the NWC.
Thursday’s first set seemed to set the tone, as the score was knotted 10 times before Crestview managed to come away with the hard-fought win.
However, in the next three sets, Lincolnview responded to each Crestview run.
“We knew Crestview was going to respond,” Lincolnview head coach JaNahn Evans said. “Crestview is not a team that’s going to let down and not respond, and neither are we. When you face a rival school like Crestview, everybody is going to play their best; and we expect that on both ends.”
Last season, Lincolnview won the NWC title with a perfect 8-0 conference mark.
“I’m proud of these girls,” Evans said. “They had a goal in mind at the very beginning. They knew they wanted this title. The seniors showed great leadership. It’s just great – (winning) back-to-back titles – and to win it outright. … I couldn’t ask for a better way to put the regular season to an end.”
Kendall Bollenbacher led Lincolnview with 17 kills, including eight in the opening set. Madison Williams had 13 kills and 24 digs.
Lacy McCoy led Crestview with 18 kills Teammate Myia Etzler recorded 11 kills for the Knights.
Bailey Gregory recorded 33 digs for Crestview, while teammate Kali Small had 29 digs.
In the second set, the score was knotted seven times before the Lancers finally pulled away.
In the third set, the Lancers led by as many as 10 points. However, Crestview battled back and cut the deficit to three, 24-21, before Lincolnview closed it out.
“I think we just realized what our motivation was,” Evans said. “We have two girls at home right now that aren’t able to play. We just had to remind ourselves that we’re here and we’re going to win it for all of us. We needed to do the little things. I think once everybody stepped up and did the little things, we took control of the game.”
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