Charleston, WV – Thursday morning marked the start of the NJCAA Division II volleyball National Championships. Lake-Sumter State College fell to Lincoln Land Community College in the opening match in three sets.
Lincoln Land's experience at Nationals shined through in the first set. The Loggers are making their fourth consecutive trip to the tournament and showed poise from the start jumping out to an 8-1 lead. Lake-Sumter battled back to a 19-16 deficit before the Loggers pulled away with four consecutive points. LLCC took the first set, 25-20.
The Lakehawks got on the board first in set two, which was a back and forth battle from the start. Knotted up at 10-10, Lincoln proceeded to create separation by going on a 7-2 run over the span of three minutes. Lake-Sumter battled back, but it was too little, too late with the final score, 25-21.
Another close contest beginning with the first serve, the third set did not end the same way it started. Both teams came out extremely aggressive with the Loggers trying to end the match in three sets and the Lakehawks with their backs against the wall. All tied up at 9-9, LLCC scored seven consecutive points to go up 16-9. LSSC could not come up with the fire power to get back into the set, losing 25-16.
Talyn Allard led her team with 10 kills while Emma Gray added nine of her own. Amanda Berecz totaled 11 digs with Gabriela Hernandez dishing out 27 assists in the match. Dallas Patterson and Jasmine Kimpel ended with four blocks each.
The loss knocks the Lakehawks out of National Championship contention, but does not end their tournament experience. Lake-Sumter will move over to the consolation bracket where they still have an opportunity to finish top 10 in the nation. The team's next contest will take place Friday morning at 10 am against the No. 14 seed Oakland Community College (MI). A full preview will be available Thursday afternoon on Lakehawksports.com.