MIDDLE POINT - Short-handed Lincolnview played Allen East tough Tuesday night but eventually fell in four sets 23-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21. The Lady Lancers end their Northwest Conference season at 2-7 and they’re 7-12 overall. The Mustangs are 5-4 and 10-6.
Four of Lincolnview’s varsity players were serving the second match of a two-match suspension, which forced some major changes in the home team’s lineup. Freshmen Ashton Bowersock (middle hitter) and Grace Gorman (right-side hitter) moved up to the varsity level and played the entire game.
“They (Bowersock and Gorman) stepped up and they did what they were supposed to do — they did a very good job,” said coach Heather Crow. “And our setter, Kelsey Mohr, normally doesn’t run a 5-1 and she had to run a a 5-1 tonight. She did a very good job mixing up the sets. Ashley McClure played middle for us and she usually plays outside, so she was able to step up, too. Even with the changes, they did overall really well.”
Allen East led early in the first set, going ahead by as much as five at 11-6, but a slew of Mustang errors allowed the Lancers to take their first lead at 15-14. The visitors came back to lead 22-17, seemingly in control, but Lincolnview reeled off five in a row, two of those coming on kills by McClure, to tie it at 22-22. At 23-23, Jodie Doner ended a long rally with a clean kill and McClure ended the set with an ace.
The Lancers started the second set with a point when Allen East miscommunicated on a receipt of serve but that turned out to be Lincolnview’s last lead of the set. The hard hitting of the Mustangs’ Kaycee Rowe led the visitors to a decisive 25-17 set. However, there was nothing decisive from that point on.
There were five lead changes early in the third set before a rash of Lancer errors allowed Allen East to pull out to a 23-16 advantage but McClure led a 6-1 Lancer run to close the gap to 24-22. However, Rowe then tipped one into the open court to end the set.
The fourth set was similar to the third — close most of the way. Lincolnview led 16-13 but Allen East took over at that point. The Mustangs, behind three Rowe aces, went on a 10-3 run to lead 23-19. An Allen East service error and a Doner kill cut the gap to 23-21, but kills by Carly Clum and Eliza Laing ended that set and the match.
“I think the one thing we’ve been struggling on all season is letting teams get on runs and that’s what happened tonight,” said Crow. “We’d get into one serve/receive rotation for four or five points in a row and they were able to take advantage of that. We just didn’t do enough side-out plays when we needed them.”
The Lancers got another stellar performance from senior libero Whitney Miller, who came up with 34 digs. Doner was second with 18 digs. McClure and Doner led in kills with 19 and 13, respectively. McClure led the servers with six aces. Mohr had 37 assists.