MIDDLE POINT — From sharing the Northwest Conference title to snaring a sectional crown.
Lincolnview, who ended the regular season with a win over Miller City to garner a piece of the NWC title, its third straight, began the postseason with a straight set win over Wayne Trace in the Division III sectional final. The Lancers won 25-11, 25-18 and 25-20.
With the win, the Lancers advance to the districts where they will play Fort Recovery at Van Wert at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“I am really proud of the girls for being sectional champs,” Lancers head coach JaNahn Evans said. “It was a good game and we had a lot of time to prepare. I think we are in a good place right now and our mindset is really good. We are a good place at this time of the year.”
Excellent defensive net play coupled with some deft setting helped Lincolnview to the victory.
The Lancers, with a solid front line that included McKayla Blankemeyer, Kendall Bollenbacher, Carsyn Looser, Kendall Klausing, Emma Bowersock and Zadria King produced 14 blocks on the night and it set the tone early when in the first game, it helped lead to the first set win.
Tied 10-10, the Lancers went on a 15-1 run that was assisted by Lincolnview making five blocks in that run. The Raiders tried to combat the Lancers’ front line with dinks but Lincolnview quickly adjusted to make several big digs.
“We rely a lot on our blocks to get points or touches and hands on balls,” Evans said. “They have a big job and they stepped into a really big role tonight. It really helped our defense out. You get into a hitter’s head and they are going to react to it so we had to be prepared for that and I thought we played that well.”
On offense, Evans pointed to her setters, Ashlyn Price and Breck Evans, as the key to the offense clicking.
Bollenbacher, fresh from being named NWC player of the year for the second straight time, led the team in kills with eight with four other players recording two or more kills.
“I thought the setters really mixed the balls well and we had a lot of options,” Evans said. “When we can pass to a number of targets our options become wide so I thought our setters found all the options they needed to find and my hitters did well finishing tonight.”
With the sectional crown out of the way, Evans said the mindset is one game at a time.
“We prepare for the next team in the tournament,” Evans added. “I love this time of year. Every team is going to be great that we come up against so we have to prepared both mentally and physically and it is one game at a time.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.