Lanesboro girls earn satisfying win at Spring Grove

EPPS/NEWS LEADER Burro setter Ella Cambern battles at the net against Spring Grove hitter Brielle Neel.

EPPS/NEWS LEADER Lanesboro's Kaci Ruen, left, and Sophia Simes block an attack by Spring Grove's Maggie Lile. The Burros snapped a 24-match losing slide against the Lions with a straight-set, 3-0 road win last week.
S. Lee Epps

The Lanesboro volleyball girls ended a 24-match losing streak to Spring Grove, including two previous meetings this season.  That Sept. 24 milestone came on the road before the Burros returned home on Sept. 26 to take all three sets against LeRoy-Ostrander.

"Spring Grove win was absolutely huge for us," said coach Julie Schreiber.  "It has been a long, long time since we have beaten Spring Grove, much less on their court - and in three sets. 

"LeRoy was another great win,” added the coach.  "We usually battle with this team, and we were able to easily top them in three sets this year."

Last fall, the Burros went to five sets to defeat the Cardinals, 3-2.

Lanesboro entered this week at 13-12 (7-3 SEC) in third place, now only one match behind second-place Spring Grove (16-6, 8-2 SEC) in the East Division.

Lanesboro 3, SG 0

25-18, 26-24, 25-17

The Burros, after scoring the first point in set two, did not lead again until edging ahead 25-24. After the Lions had dropped the first set, they appeared ready to even the match with a 24-19 lead in set two. But Lanesboro saved all five set points (2 kills, 3 Lion errors) and then added the two winning points to take control of the match.

Junior Sydney Taylor scored the final three points of that set and would finish with a match-high 16 kills.

That seven-point, set-reversing Lanesboro run in set two followed a 7-0 spurt that had ultimately decided set one. Spring Grove had led in that first set before the Burros scored seven straight to take the lead for good at 19-16.

In set three, Spring Grove played with enthusiasm but never led, while the Burros were serving their best set of the night.

However, it was still tight at 20-17 before Lanesboro scored the final five points. Freshman Kaci Ruen closed it with two of her 11 kills on the night.

Jessie Schreiber attacked with a team-high 28% efficiency and 9 kills while Ella Cambern contributed 35 set assists.

Leading the defense were Payton Benson with 21 digs and Malia Tessum with 20. Ruen had 18 saves and Taylor another 14.

The visiting Burros displayed significantly improved hitting from their performance at home against Spring Grove. When the two teams had met earlier in Lanesboro (a 3-0 Lion win), the Burros had committed as many hitting errors as kills.

In this rematch, Lanesboro scored with 40 kills. With 15 attack errors, the Burros' 18% hitting efficiency was the second best for a Lion opponent in a best-of-5 set match this season, topped only by state-ranked Mabel-Canton's 24%.

Meanwhile, the Lions hit with 9% efficiency, their second lowest of the season (they hit 4% versus Mabel-Canton.)

Spring Grove had 14% efficiency in the win at Lanesboro and 19% while defeating the Burros in the Labor Day weekend tournament.

The exception for the Lions last week was freshman Addyson McHugh, who hit with 38% efficiency and a team-high 10 kills.

The match was decided at the net where both teams had a similar number of errors (SG 18, LHS 15), but the visitors had more kills (LHS 40, SG 28) and more scoring blocks (LHS 3, SG 0).

It was a very even scoring battle from the service line. Each team had 6 errors; the Burros served 8 aces and the Lions 7. Lanesboro served with 92% accuracy.

For LHS, Taylor served 21 for 22 with 2 aces. Cambern went 15 for 15 with 1 ace.

"The team played very well offensively and defensively," said Schreiber.  "We stayed strong at the net and behind the service line. We played some of the best defense we have all year.  We knew we could beat them, and we worked hard to make it happen.  We found some grit and determination and we won.  Very proud moment for our team."

LHS 3, L-O 0

25-17, 25-15, 25-13

 The Burros consistently scored with 14 kills in each set. With those 42 kills, 1 ace block and 14 service aces, Lanesboro had 57 earned points while using only 18 Cardinal error points.

"We came out strong and pushed points until the end of each set," said coach Schreiber.  "We moved the ball around well to all of our hitters, and our defense was great in picking up a lot of balls. "

Digging was a team effort with Benson keeping the ball alive with 15 digs while Tessum had 13, Taylor 11 and Ruen 10.

The Burros served 91% with twice as many aces (14) as errors (7). Schreiber led with 5 aces on 16 serves (15 for 16) while Benson served 17 for 18 with 3 aces. Taylor had 3 instant winners on only 8 attempts.

The girls were productive at the net with 21% efficiency. Taylor pounded home 14 kills while Ruen (22%) responded with 10 kills and Schreiber 8. Cambern aired up 33 assists.

The Cardinals left town at 4-10 (3-6 SEC).

"We have a lot of tough games ahead of us yet," added the coach. "And every day, we are coming into the gym and working hard to work to stay successful."

This week and next

The girls played the rematch at Houston as this edition was going to press on Tuesday of this week before hosting the Oct. 3 rematch with state-ranked Mabel-Canton.

The only match next week is at home with the second SEC encounter versus Kingsland on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The regular season closes on Monday, Oct. 14 at Rochester against Schaeffer Academy.