For the second straight season, #9 in A Spring Grove (4-seed, 27-4) eliminated Fillmore Central (5-seed, 19-10) in the section 1A quarters but could not topple #5 Bethlehem Academy (1-aeed, 19-10) in the semis. The Lions needed five sets to escape the Falcons 3-2 (25-18, 24-26, 13-25, 25-19, 15-12). SG scored seven of the last eight points in set four to get to a fifth set, which opened with a 7-2 Lion run before a Falcon rally fell short. The Lions had the most scoring blocks (SG 10, FC four), but the team with the most attacks and kills (FC 64 kills, SG 48) did not win. But the Falcons also gave up the most error points (FC 49, SG 31). Overall, the Lions scored 102 points, Fillmore Central 100. Addyson McHugh (15 kills, 12 digs) scored her 1,000th career kill during that late Lion surge in set four while Kenadee Gerard led Lion attackers (16 kills, 6 total blks). Joelle Halverson (10 kills) helped. Top scorers were the Falcons’ Abby Bothun (22 kills, 30 digs) and Kammry Broadwater (19 kills, 30 digs). Alyssa Britton (9 kills) and Madison Simon (8 kills) helped. Aubrey
Daniels had 55 assists and 18 digs for FC, Kendal VanMinsel 38 assists and 19 digs for SG. FC’s Kyla Hellickson (38) and Regan Hanson (15), SG’s Maggie Lile (15), Sydney Holland (15), and Izabel Kaufman (14) all also had double digit digs. Despite SG serving 94% and FC 92%, both lost points – SG (five aces, six errors) and FC (four aces, eight misfires). For SG, Lile served 28 for 28 (two aces) while Falcon junior Britton served 16 for 16 (two aces). The Lions defeated the Falcons 2-0 during a regular-season tournament and scored the first six points in this rematch, winning the first set by seven. It was the only set which SG had more kills than FC. Set two was tied 16 times – finally at 24-24 before it ended with a Bothun kill and a Lion hitting error. In set three, the Falcons dominated the net with 18 kills and five errors and enjoyed their best serving with three aces. FC could not extend the hot hitting into set four; the Lions led only 19-18 before closing with a 6-1 run. The Falcons finished at 19-11. In the state-ranked semi-finals, #9 SG (4-seed, 28-4) served 100% and led in all four sets, two of which went into extended play before #4 B.A. (1-seed, 19-12) prevailed 3-1. After falling short 29-27 in set one, followed by another competitive 25-20 setback in set two, the Lions survived three match points to take set three, 26-24. In set four, the Cardinals hit really well (16 kills, 4 errors) to win, 25-16. Overall, B.A. finished with four more kills (57-53), three more scoring blocks (7-3), and 10 fewer overall errors (32-42). Stat leaders for SG included McHugh (21 kills, 12 digs), libero Lile (3 kills, 38 digs, 6 assists), VanMinsel (36 assists, 24 digs), Holland (16 digs), Gerard (8 kills), Halverson (8 kills), and Lydia Solum (6 kills, team-best 17% efficiency). SG (28-5) closed with a program record win total. More details on our website.