CLICK HERE FOR MATCH HIGHLIGHTS AND PLAYER INTERVIEWS
OMAHA – Cassidy Loberg picked the perfect time to get hot for Millard West Tuesday night.
The 6-foot middle rattled off three kills in a 4-1 run for the Wildcats to end the second set, which swung the momentum in a 23-25, 27-25, 25-23, 27-17 victory for #4 Millard West over #11 Lincoln Southwest.
Millard West was just a point away from facing a 2-0 deficit in the match when two straight kills by Loberg put Millard West up 25-24 in the second set. Lincoln Southwest tied the score at 25-25 on a kill by Lauren Cope, but another kill by Loberg followed by one from sophomore middle Bridget Petersen gave the set to the Wildcats and evened the match.
Besides improving Millard West to 19-3 on the season, the win was also important in the Wildcats’ wildcard points in a very tight Class A – a fact which wasn’t lost on Millard West coach Erin Byrd.
“We talked with the kids about that on Monday at practice, that this was a big test for us,” Byrd said. “We haven’t played a ton of division one (in the NSAA wild card point system) teams and that this could help us with those points.”
After winning the second set, point came quickly early in the third set for Millard West as the Wildcats jumped out to a 10-1 lead. Lincoln Southwest slowly chipped away, however, getting within 15-12 after consecutive blocks by Maddie Kelle. Eventually, the Silver Hawks got all the way back within 24-23 late in the set on a kill by Brenna Hansen, but Millard West held on to win the set on a kill by Tiffany Wentworth.
The fourth set was tight early and Southwest held a 9-7 lead following a kill from junior Wichita State recruit Allie Davis and a pair of Millard West hitting errors. Millard West, however, went on a 8-1 run behind two kills from Loberg and two ace serves from Sydney Stockfleth to go ahead 15-10 and never trailed again.
Following the match, Byrd said she was impressed with both the defensive play of her team and that of Lincoln Southwest libero Taylor Els.
“She was all over the place, just all over the place,” Byrd said of Els. “I loved watching her play from over here, even though it was also very frustrating.
“I liked our defensive effort and that we continued to transition and use all of our hitters as options. I feel like we have a lot of fire power at the net.”
#4 Millard West def. #11 Lincoln Southwest 23-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-17.
Lincoln Southwest (kills-ace serves-blocks)
Maddie Kelle 7-0-3, Madison Egger 1-2-0, Taylor Els 0-2-0, Callie Meyer 9-0-0, Allie Davis 10-0-1, Carlie Jaeger 1-0-0, Lauren Cope 1-0-1, Brenna Hansen 8-1-1, Tyra Mollhoff 1-0-0, Sydney Anderson 1-1-0.
Millard West (kills-ace serves-blocks)
Kira Shapiro 11-0-6, Tiffany Wentworth 4-0-0, Sydney Stockfleth 4-2-0, Cassidy Loberg 9-0-3, Sydney Yong 1-3-0, Alexy Woodward 8-0-0, Bridget Petersen 8-0-4, Jordan Daniels 0-3-0.
Assists: Lincoln Southwest 34 (Egger 30, Els 4). Millard West 40 (Wentworth 24, Emma Walker 14, Yong 2).