It was fairly quiet early on in the Leavenworth High School gym Tuesday night, but it got loud in a hurry when Lawrence Free State and Leavenworth took their second set to 31 points.
The Lady Pioneers started the night with a 2-0 win over Shawnee Mission West and took the first set against Free State 25-22 by wining the final three points, but it was the second set against the Firebirds that got the crowd going.
Neither team gave up and both had numerous chances to win it.
Leavenworth went down 5-1 early and 19-13 later, but they never went away and the match got to a 25-25 tie.
It seemed like the set would never end. The moment a team would get momentum, the other would come back.
Even though the Firebirds were able to win the set 31-29 and tie up the match at one set apiece, the Lady Pioneers basically dominated the third set to win the match 2-1 and win their eighth match in a row.
“I’m in amazement with them right now,” said head coach Josh Padilla. “They are fighting hard. They are working tough and getting through a lot of stuff that they would have caved on last year.”
So, what makes this Lady Pioneers team more resilient than last season’s?
“Just the aggressive play,” Padilla said. “When games get tight, this team used to kind of lay off. Now they are really going after it.”
The third set started out close, and the Firebirds even led 7-6 early on, but the Lady Pioneers controlled it once they got the lead and won it 25-16.
Leavenworth will be off until Saturday when it goes to the De Soto Spikefest, but the schedule gets busy with matches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week.