It came down to a tightly contested second set but Lansing volleyball’s quest for a State Championship ended in a semifinal loss (25-17, 25-23) to eventual-champion St. Thomas Aquinas Saturday at Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina.
The Lady Lions later defeated Goddard (25-16, 25-12) in the third-place match to take third in 5A for the third year in a row.
The Saints jumped out to an early lead in the first set but kills from Caroline Crawford and Karli Schmidt got the Lady Lions on the board as they trailed 7-2.
Aquinas controlled the pace of the set throughout maintaining a lead and used a 6-2 burst to go up 14-7 and the gap only grew larger. Schmidt and Crawford continued to pound kills to keep Lansing within 10 but the Saints closed out the set with a 25-17 win.
Aquinas took a 2-0 lead in the second set but another kill from Crawford gave Lansing its first lead of the match at 3-2. Both teams traded points with the Saints going up 7-6 on a service ace but Schmidt rattled off two consecutive kills to put the Lady Lions back on top 8-7.
Sam Moburg, Amelia Van Der Werff, and Schmidt contributed kills later to bring another tie at 14-14. Tied again at 18-18, the Saints went on a 4-0 run to lead 22-18 and forced Lansing head coach Julie Slater to use both of her timeouts.
The extra rest helped as Lansing went on a 4-0 run of its own to bring the 13th tie of the set at 22-22. Aquinas bounced back with consecutive points and Moburg landed a kill to bring Lansing within one but the Saints shut the door and advanced to the finals 25-23.
The loss ends a 28-match winning streak for the Lady Lions.
The Saints went on to defeat St. James Academy in the finals (10-25, 25-19, 25-16) to claim the program's seventh State Championship.