COTTONWOOD - On a night in which passing difficulties limited the effectiveness of their attack, the Lakeview Lakers found their offense at the service line.
The Lakers used 17 aces, including seven from senior Tegan VanMoer, to sweep the Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints 25-17, 25-20, 25-10 on Monday in an opening-round match of the Section 3A-North volleyball playoffs.
Lakeview struggled with the serve in the opening set, despite picking up four aces. The eighth-seeded Lakers committed six service errors in the set, but took advantage of nine KMS errors during a final 14-10 run to win the set.
Photo by Travis Andries
Lakeview’s Tegan VanMoer, left, digs a ball while teammate Kana Barker looks on during a play-in match against Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in the Section 3A-North tournament Monday at Lakeview High School in Cottonwood.
Any such difficulties with the serve disappeared at the onset of the second set, however, as VanMoer followed a Brianna Hoffman kill with five straight aces to spring the Lakers to a 6-0 lead.
"That really set the tone, once we got our serving going," Lakeview head coach Phil Lalim said. "We talked about it between sets one and two that even though we missed those serves, I said, 'We're still going to go aggressive, because as soon as we pull back it's like we're just going to try to coast through the game.' The girls bought into that and you really saw that aggressiveness come out in them. It's a huge momentum thing."
VanMoer especially served as a catalyst for her team. The senior outside hitter finished 11-for-14 serving with seven aces, to go along with her team-leading 12 kills.
"Something happened there that was like, 'Alright we can do this,'" Lalim said. "She's a senior, she missed two in that first set, but she went back to it and said, 'I can do it.' I really think that was a big spark for us."
Confidence was contagious and the Lakers managed to hold off a late KMS rally thanks to a rejuvenated defense. Lakeview also picked up four more aces in the set.
A pair of aces from Brooklyn Hartle were part of a four-point run that made the score 14-7. Hartle finished 12 of 14 serving with three aces. VanMoer added her sixth ace of the set to make the score 18-15, while Madi Nelson had one of two aces on the night to extend Lakeview's lead to 20-16. Nelson was 11-for-11 serving and also had 19 set assists.
The Lakers ultimately took a 2-0 lead in the match on VanMoer's third kill and ninth point of the second set, winning it 25-20.
Alli Boerboom opened final set with an ace, while adding another as part of an opening 7-0 run for the Lakers.
Lakeview led 19-8 before Boerboom got another chance to serve, but the senior middle hitter helped the Lakers to a 4-0 run and a 23-9 lead by the time she was done. Boerboom was a team-best 18-for-18 serving and had three aces, as well as two ace blocks.
When a KMS attack sailed out of bounds for the match's final point, the Lakers celebrated their second win over the Fighting Saints in the past month. Lakeview had previously defeated its Camden Conference rival 3-0 on Sept. 25.
The Lakers return to Section 3A play on Friday with a matchup against top-seeded and third-ranked Minneota, set for 6 p.m. at the RA Facility on the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
"We're going to have to stay aggressive," Lalim said. "Minneota's a good team and we're going to have to have good ball control. They're a team that you just can't give points away to. We've got to try and find a way to keep the ball in play. I think if we stay aggressive and work at it, then we've got a good shot to be competitive with them."
KMS17 20 10
Lakeview25 25 25
Serving (good-att-aces): Alli Boerboom 18-18-3, Brooklyn Hartle 12-14-3, Madi Nelson 11-11-2, Tegan VanMoer 11-14-7.
Kills: VanMoer 12, Brianna Hoffman 6, Hartle 4, Boerboom 3.
Digs: Kana Barker 6, Briatta Buntjer 4, VanMoer 4, Boerboom 4.
Set Assists: Nelson 19.
Blocks: Hoffman 2, VanMoer 1.