A night to remember
Estherville Lincoln Central coach Tyler Johnson recently said his team plays best when they play with emotion.
With 10 seniors celebrating their last home volleyball match, rival Spirit Lake as the opponent and a large crowd of students, the Midgettes had plenty of sources to keep their emotions high on Thursday.
ELC used that to its advantage to earns its first Lakes Conference victory with a 3-1 win over the Indians.
“Overall we played with a lot of emotion, said Johnson. “The boys showing up really helped us and had a huge effect on how we play.”
The first couple rows of the ELC student section featured several high school boys all dressed in black for “Blackout Night” with constant cheering and support for their team.
Although ELC jumped out to an early lead in game one, Johnson said his players seemed a little tentative hitting the ball against Spirit Lake’s Amber Kirschbaum. The 6-foot senior had 18 kills and eight blocks on the night.
“Once we got over that, we started playing better,” Johnson said.
ELC went on a run in the first game when Kirschbaum was out of the game building an 20-10 lead.
When she came back in the game the Indians made a run, cutting the deficit to 22-18.
By consecutive kills by Caitlyn Swisher helped ELC hold on for a 25-19 win.
Serving played a big part in the Midgettes victory.
In winning the first game, ELC had five aces-two by Swisher, and one each from Taylar Jacobson, Taylor Larson and Kaylene Vos.
ELC served even better in game two with nine aces-four by Kelsie McCauley, three by Swisher and two by Vos.
Another big part of ELC’s 25-21 game two win was the play of Hannah Beernink, who had six of her match-high 12 kills.
ELC appeared ready to put the match away in game three, holding a late 22-19 lead.
But a couple hitting errors and an ace by Chelsie Stettnichs tied the match at 22-22.
A kill by Alex Olesen put ELC on top one more time, but ELC had a serving error followed by a hitting error and a kill from the Indians’ Ashley Colwell as Spirit Lake won 25-23.
ELC led most of the fourth game and had pulled away to a five-point advantage at 15-10.
The Indians rallied and tied the game at 17-17 on a block by Kirschbaum.
But Vos recorded a rare kill followed by an ace serve from Anna Bruns.
ELC went on a 5-1 run to end the match which included a kill by Olesen on an overpass by the Indians and a backrow kill from Bruns.
ELC had four ace serves in the final game with two by Bruns and one each by McCauley and Larson.
McCauley ended the night with eight kills and two blocks. Larson and Swisher each had three kills.
Vos had 24 assists along with four blocks.
Larson led the defense with 12 digs while Jacobson and Megan Woods each had eight.
For Spirit Lake, Colwell had eight kills and Stettnichs had six.
Serving, Kori Heidebrink was 15-17 with two aces, Kyle Stoll was 16-17, Stettnichs was 13-13 and Regan Sieperda was 11-11 with an ace.
Stoll had 14 digs while Heidebrink and Stettnichs each had seven.
Heidebrink ended with 17 assists while Alex Horsman had 15.
ELC and Spirit Lake will both meet in the first round of the Storm Lake Tournament Saturday morning.
The Estherville Lincoln Central junior varsity won 21-19, 21-5 over Spirit Lake.