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Lions stop Cougars in NCC Tournament

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Conestoga and Louisville

HOOPER – Several of Louisville most experienced volleyball players made major impacts for the Lions Monday night in the team’s victory over Conestoga.

Seniors Jaylin Gaston, Lea Kalkowski and Brooke Smith and junior Lizzie Podrazo all produced key efforts for the Lions in their 25-20, 27-25, 25-15 victory. They helped eighth-seeded LHS defeat the ninth-seeded Cougars in the Nebraska Capitol Conference Tournament.

The teams generated a series of long rallies throughout their match on Logan View’s court. The Lions held off a Conestoga comeback attempt to win game one, and the schools remained close to each other throughout game two. Louisville pulled away from the Cougars in the last half of game three to advance in the tournament.

Gaston emerged as a key player at the net with 32 swings during the evening. She delivered a career-best 14 kills and produced a .281 hitting percentage. She slammed home kills on 43.8 percent of her attempts. She also finished 6-of-7 serving for the Lions.

Podrazo gave Louisville a large amount of scoring energy with eight kills on 18 attempts. She also registered a perfect 10-of-10 night at the service line with one ace.

Kalkowski led the Lions at the service line with two aces in her spotless 22-of-22 effort. She also produced a double-double of 32 assists and ten digs. Smith anchored the defense with 31 serve receptions and 16 digs. She chipped in six kills against the Cougars.

Ella Johnson collected four kills and one solo block and Ava Culver posted four kills, six digs and four serve receptions. Sagan Leach generated 12 digs, two assists, two aces and seven serve receptions in the match, and Laura Swanson helped the team with eight digs, six serve receptions and one assist.

Wyleigh Bateman added five digs for the Lions. Louisville improved to 8-16 and advanced to the conference tournament quarterfinals. The team will travel to Syracuse tonight for a 7 p.m. match.

Individual statistics for Conestoga (4-19) were not available.

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