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LHS volleyball team takes second in Conference tourney

Lennox High School’s volleyball team had a busy week last week, earning a win against Garretson, falling to Dakota Valley and earning runner-up honors in the DakXII Conference Tournament.

On Monday, Oct. 9 the Orioles took on Garretson and secured a hard-fought victory in four sets (27-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-22).

Key players in this match included Dani Highum, who recorded an impressive 20 kills, 12 digs, and 3 aces; Libby Kranz with 10 kills; Addison Martz with eight kills and four blocks; Andie Peters with 18 digs and Lilly Meyer with six aces and 27 set assists.

“Garretson just didn’t have an answer for Dani Highum’s attacks. She hit at a 51% kill rate,” said LHS head coach Vanessa Gabel. “Our primary serve receivers [Andie Peters and Kate Jackson] were giving great passes to our setters, who were in turn putting up some quality sets for our attackers to put away or at least keep Garretson on their heels.”

The Oriole attack was spread well across their six primary hitters which always makes opponents’ defense have to work harder.

“Five hitters were in the positive kill rates, which is a tough feat. I was impressed with how the ladies continued to work through long rallies and walk away with points, especially when the games were so tight at the end,” added Gabel.

On Tuesday, Oct. 10 the Orioles took on a strong Dakota Valley team. The Lady O’s couldn’t secure a win, losing in three sets: 18-25, 17-25, 12-25.

“We really struggled against Dakota Valley’s tough serving and fantastic attacks,” said Gabel. “I was impressed with our squad in that when the match was at its most difficult, the ladies were still supporting one another and staying mentally positive. I think that’s where the ladies have improved the most this season.”

Against Dakota Valley, Highum had six kills and 13 digs, Ella Grengs had four kills and six set assists, Kranz and Carli Kuyper each had four kills and Meyer had 12 set assists.

On Saturday, Oct. 14 Lennox entered the DAK XII Tournament as the seventh seed and faced a series of challenging opponents. The team defeated Vermillion in the opening round, earned a come-back win over Madison, and earned a win over Dell Rapids to advance to the Championship match.

In the Championship match, Lennox faced off against Sioux Falls Christian and ultimately lost, 2-0 (25-11, 25-17), giving Lennox runner-up honors.

Against Vermillion, Lennox secured a victory in two sets: 25-21, 25-8.

“Obviously, this was going to be our easiest match of the day and it played out that way,” said Gabel.

The offense was led by Grengs with 14 set assists. Highum ended up with nine kills, followed by Kranz with six. The team’s serve receive was led by Jackson with a 2.33 passing rating. The defense was led with a few solo blocks by Kuyper, Martz and Grengs and backed up with top digs from Peters (7) and Highum (5). Meyer led the squad with 3 aces.

Against Madison, Lennox made a comeback after losing the first set. They secured the victory with scores of 22-25, 25-21, 25-22.

“A fantastic match against a team that solidly beat us in our previous meetup this season,” said Gabel. “I was really impressed with the Lady O’s when they came back to win the match with two hard fought games after losing the first. When we last played Madison, we didn’t have an answer to their middle hitter. This match we were successful in shutting her down with a solid block but more importantly extremely tough serving kept them from getting quality passes.”

The serving game was led by Meyer, Grengs and Kranz all having two aces. Grengs led in set assists, with 23. Highum had 19 kills. She was followed by Kranz having 11 kills. Peters, new to the libero position, led the team with 26 digs, while Highum had 15.

“We had some fantastic serve receive led by Dani, Libby and Kate all passing above a 2.0 rating,” added Gabel.

In a competitive match against Dell Rapids, Lennox won 2-0 (25-22, 27-25).

“Normally the team who has the highest kill percentage wins the match but this wasn’t the case in this match,” said Gabel. “Dell Rapids hit at a higher level than our squad but the Lady O’s took charge of the match with our serving.”

The team ended up with 15 aces, led by Meyer having five, Grengs four and Martz three. Meyer added ten set assists. The kill column was led by Highum, having 10 kills and Grengs having 5.

“Our serve receive was solid with Andie passing at a 2.4 and Dani at a 2.3,” said Gabel.

In the Championship match against Sioux Falls Christian Lennox faced a challenging match against a formidable opponent, losing 0-2 (25-11, 25-17).

“We hadn’t seen them yet this season and were stunned by their strong serves,” said Gabel. “We struggled passing and that led to not having the strong attack we needed to play toe to toe with them. Our serving also fell off this match. We were serving very aggressively all day at which point errors will happen. They happened in this match.”


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