On Wednesday, the Lincoln College Women’s Volleyball team ended its season with a disappointing five-set loss to Illinois Central College in the first round of Region XXIV playoffs. The match was oddly similar to the first meeting between these two teams as Lincoln took the first two sets in exciting fashion.
After a slow start in set one, the Lady Lynx stormed back from a six point deficit to tie the score at 23-23 then battled their way to a 29-27 win with set point coming on an ace serve from freshman outside hitter Kaylyn Hoffert. In set two, Lincoln and ICC traded leads early on and eventually saw a tie score at 18-18. That’s when a side out on a kill down the line by Mattie Giese put sophomore Brighton Robbins behind the service line. Robbins would serve five straight to put Lincoln up for good and eventually take the set 25-20.
Lincoln was unable to sustain their high level of play in set three and fell behind early 10-3. ICC stepped up their game defensively by blocking LC hitters several times for quick scores. ICC would win set two 25-20. Set four again saw ICC get off to a fast start and control the net to build a big lead. Lincoln would make a late charge behind the strong serve of freshman middle Cassidy Sanneman who served five in a row to narrow the gap, but the team came up just short and lost the set 25-23. The air was clearly out of the Lady Lynx’s sails in set five as they trailed all the way in a 15-8 loss.
The Lady Lynx ended their season with a record of 22-13.
Lincoln College Coach Mark Tippett commented after the game. “In our Region their has never been an upset in the #6 seed verses #3 seed playoff match-up, but tonight was as close as I’ve seen it to happening. It’s too bad we couldn’t put together one more strong set to win the match,” said Tippett. “We started out very flat in set one, but showed a lot of heart and belief in ourselves to battle back and win that set. Set two was one of our best efforts of the season. We were aggressive and made smart decisions throughout.”
Tippett added, “I can’t point to any one reason why we fell off the way we did after that. ICC really stepped up their game in sets three and four. Their block was very effective which led to a lot of frustration for our hitters. We just did not get off to good starts in any of the final three sets which is not something you can afford to do against a strong team.”
“It’s a disappointing way to end out season, but I am proud of what this team accomplished this year. We posted a strong record (22-13) and did it with very few players who came in with any college playing experience. We will return the majority of our team next year, so the future should be very bright for our program.”
Kenzie Cooper 17 kills, 8 points, 14 digs
Kaylyn Hoffert 8 kills, 3 blocks
Abbi Buelow 6 points, 29 set assists, 10 digs
Erin Rankin 15 points, 12 digs
Mattie Giese 6 kills, 3 blocks
Melanie Murray 19 digs, 5 points
Cassidy Sanneman 4 kills, 5 blocks, 7 points
Mikayla Siebert 3 kills
Elysa Smith 2 kills, 2 blocks
Brighton Robbins 11 digs, 6 points