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Local

Lady Lions enjoy home cooking

LAMOILLE — The LaMoille/Ohio Lady Lions enjoyed some home cooking Saturday at the Farmer’s Table in LaMoille and on the volleyball court. Whatever they were cooking, coach Hallie May would like some more.

The Lady Lions went 2-1 in pool play and finished off the day with a 25-22, 25-9 win over Amboy to capture their own invitational tournament.

“I may have (the Farmer’s Table) cooking breakfast for the team on a regular basis,” May said.

As practice wound down Friday, May asked her team what their goal was for the tournament. While May said no one said to win the whole thing, she was pleased they agreed they had to play as a team and work together,

“I’ve stressed the team play from Day 1, and they reminded me of that when my mind was skipping to the win,” May said. “At the same time, I hope that the girls now have the confidence to set their goals high and expect to achieve them. I’ve been telling the girls that we have all the pieces to win our conference, our conference tournament and our regional; I think Saturday solidified that.

“I’ve always believed in these girls, I think our fans are starting to believe, and I hope that Saturday erased any doubts the girls had in themselves.”

In pool play, the Lady Lions defeated Earlville/Leland (19-25, 25-12) and Somonauk by points (24-25, 25-17), losing to Midland (21-25, 24-25 to place second. They were matched against Ottawa Marquette, the first-place team from pool No. 2 and won (25-19, 25-20) to advance to the finals to play Amboy who beat Midland in their semifinal match up.

Senior Shiela Browning, who was selected to the all-tournament team, led the Lady Lions with seven kills, six points and fives ace. Other leading contributors were sophomore Erika Zimmerlein (five kills), Elizabeth Geuther (three kills, three blocks), Erin Bennett (five points, nine assists), Ragen Forbes (six digs) and Vanessa Martinez (four points, two aces, three digs).

“I was happy to get a win under our belts anticipating that we could end up going three, but the girls just came alive for a dominating win. It is by far the best my team that has played since I started coaching the Lady Lions,” May said.

“Our serve receive was spot on; back row was keeping the ball alive; our setters, Rae Schultz and Erin Bennett, continued their phenomenal play; and sophomore outside Erika Zimmerlein and senior outside Shiela Browning were just terminating the ball. Our crowd was fantastic, and the girls never let up.”

The Lady Lions will play on two home courts this week, hosting Paw Paw Tuesday at LaMoille and Annawan Wednesday in Ohio.

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