Prep volleyball: Lincoln's late rally falls short

Prep volleyball: Lincoln's late rally falls short

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Prep volleyball: Lincoln's late rally falls short

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After falling behind 2-0, the No. 3-seeded Manitowoc Lincoln girls volleyball team rallied to make it 2-1 but couldn’t pull off the upset bid as it fell to No. 2 West Bend East 3-1 in a WIAA Division 1 State Girls Volleyball Tournament sectional semifinal at Oshkosh West High School on Thursday night.

“We never really established ourselves,” Lincoln head coach Mary Beth Dixon said following the loss. “Credit to them, (West Bend East) established the momentum on their side. We were scratching to come back the whole time.”

In Game 1 West Bend East started off hot by taking a 10-5 lead that forced a Lincoln timeout. The Ships cut the deficit to 13-9, but that was as close as they got the rest of the way as they lost the game 25-18.

The Ships once again fell behind early, this time in Game 2, as the Suns jumped out to a 5-1 lead as Lincoln took its first timeout. The Ships cut into the West Bend East lead and made it 9-8, but as it did most of the night, West Bend East got some lucky hits, kept extended volleys alive and managed to capitalize off of Lincoln’s errors, winning Game 2 25-14.

“The team that keeps the ball going, keeps it alive the longest generally is going to be the team that wins and they were able to do that effectively,” Dixon said. “We just made some defensive errors.”

In the third game Lincoln took an early 5-4 advantage, its first lead since being up 1-0 in Game 2. From there, the Ships made it 12-9 and forced West Bend East to use its first timeout of the night. The rest of the game was all Lincoln with momentum clearly coming back in the Ships’ favor.

“Volleyball is a momentum game. In the third game we did some things really well and we got in their head a little bit,” Dixon said. “It seemed like (West Bend East) sort of questioned some of what they were doing, but credit to them they stuck with it and were able to come back from (losing Game 3).”

The final and decisive game was a back-and-forth affair until near the end when the Suns finally pulled away and sealed the victory. Lincoln trailed 8-7 as West Bend East took a timeout with momentum slipping away, but the Suns went on a run to make it 17-11, forcing a Ships time out. From there, Lincoln was unable to chip away at the lead and complete the comeback bid.

Stephanie Winans led Lincoln with 10 kills, 14 blocks and 21 digs while teammate Meg Wolowicz had 10 kills. Also for the Ships, Mallory Dixon had 28 assists, Britney Youngchild had 24 digs and Alyssa Grotegut had 14 blocks.

Both teams involved in the matchup each had just one senior on their roster. For Lincoln, next year means being without Katherine Wolowicz as the senior leaves behind a group of underclassmen who will be looking to repeat as Fox River Classic Conference champions and make it further than this year’s sectional semifinals.

“Katherine is definitely not a vocal leader but she leads by example and that’s something we will miss, as well as her humor,” Dixon said. “She is a great kid and we will miss her.

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