Lansing dominates its Bobcat rivals

It was a final time, a last dance, a tearful serenade for Lansing Lion volleyball players Lacey Angello and Courtney Rexroat.

Two members of the Class of 2018, along with manager John Woken, were honored before the game as senior night reminded all in attendance, their contributions to the program.

Then they got down to breaking out the can of ‘Who Dis? We Dis?’

Behind a wrecking ball attack at the net in the form of a monster block game, a defense that picked up numerous 50-50 balls and a seamless offensive approach, the Lions made fast and impressive work of a very good Basehor-Linwood team 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-17) on Tuesday evening.

Lansing (29-5, 5-0) came in on the heels of a good weekend of volleyball at the DeSoto SpikeFest where they ultimately lost to the hosts in two sets.

Karli Schmidt (14 kills), Angello (10 kills, three blocks, 13 digs), Rachel Fairbanks (10 kills, three blocks), Amelia Vanderwerff (four kills, four blocks), Rexroat (36 assists) and Kennedy Farris (19 digs) led the Lansing assault.

“We did a really good job of serving and keeping them out of system so they couldn’t get rolling on offense,” Lansing High head coach Julie Slater said. “I thought our block was good. We’ve been focusing on blocking and it’s been helping. We are having our pins not go so wide and try to take away cross court instead of going out to antenna, then our middles can close.”

Basehor (21-13, 4-1) stats were not made available, but the coaching staff were disappointed that the Bobcats couldn’t step up for a third time in making Lansing really toil for a win against BLHS.

“We couldn't find a rhythm in our game,” BLHS head coach Amy Irvin said. “We didn't play with energy or execution. We have played them two times before this season and played so much more aggressive and tough. We didn't execute things we have worked on in practice or talked about in time outs. We have played them tough until tonight. The pressure of the game got to us. We were not communicating. It is definitely a learning experience.”

Lansing came storming out of the gate as the block set the tone early, forcing many Bobcat hitting errors, getting touches for the Lions’ defense to swoop up on in transition or scoring points at the net.

In the second set, Lansing led 14-4 before Basehor got into a little bit of a rhythm and appeared ready to threaten, but the Lion offense, which was terminating from all points of the net and via different attack options, would not relent.

The performance was a nice elixir for a squad that had won its fair share, but as of late had struggled in recent weeks against good teams.

“Coming into this game we were confident,” Rexroat said. “Against Mill Valley, we weren’t supposed to lose to them (last week, before beating them Saturday). This game showed us again that we are good and can beat good teams. Basehor is a good team. They have a good record and are ranked in Class 4A. This reassured us.”

In the deciding set, Lansing came out again on the heels of strong play to lead, 16-9. Bobcat Jayla McPherson uncorked some serious cheddar on her next three serves and BLHS was within 16-12, forcing Slater to call time out.

Lansing righted the ship and would pull away, wrapping the match, fittingly, on an Angello kill that ended a dominant performance.

“For me, this was definitely about being my last home game and just play the best I can play and not let anything hit the ground,” Angello said. “There was more of a push for this game.”