Earned. Glenwood defeated Class 4-A No. 6 Lewis Central in five sets to punch its first-ever ticket to the state tournament.
“It was a great match,” Glenwood coach Chelsey Hirt said. “It was so close, every set. It was well earned by our team tonight.”
Glenwood sophomore Brynlee Arnold made a huge impact in the match. Arnold broke her season block record with 12 blocks at the net.
“That was my goal the entire night,” Arnold said. “I wanted those 11 blocks. That was my goal, and I got it.”
Arnold made her presence felt early and often, helping Glenwood win the first two sets 25-23 and 27-25. Lewis Central had no choice but to account for Arnold and change its hitting when she was in the match.
“She had a big night,” Hirt said. “Those first two sets, she had a big, big, night.”
To defeat Lewis Central, a team Hirt said Glenwood has been “chasing” for three years, takes a team effort.
“It was a huge team effort,” Hirt said. “We’ve been battling injuries, we’ve been battling confidence. I am just really proud of them tonight.”
Joslyn Lewis and Elle Scarborough led the offense for Glenwood, each tallying 12 kills apiece. Taryn Bertini had seven kills and five blocks, while Arnold had six kills and Kendall Bardsley added five.
“We definitely played as a team,” Scarborough said. “Passing, and our setting was on. We had faith in each other and we got it done. We knew we had to block them. Their (L.C.) hitters are so good.”
“It’s unbelievable, it’s the best feeling.”
Down two sets, Lewis Central began its comeback. Delaney Esterling had a big kill to give L.C. a 22-20 lead. Esterling had 15 kills on the night for Lewis Central. The Titans won set three 25-22, and the comeback was on.
The fourth set was another back-and-forth affair. Lead changes, long rallies, diving digs, controversial calls, big hits and lots of cheering. This match had it, and then some.
“They played a really good game,” Lewis Central coach Mike Bond said.
Megan Witte finished off the fourth set with one of her 21 (unofficial) kills on the night. Madisyn Havermann and Esterling also finished the match with double-digit kills.
Almost all of the seniors for Lewis Central have started since they were freshmen. The senior class has racked up over 100 wins in their career.
“That’s a pretty successful group that will be highly by our school,” Bond said.
Glenwood has earned its first berth into the state volleyball tournament. The Rams earned the No. 8 seed and will take on No. 1 seed Sergeant Bluff-Luton Nov. 12th at 4 p.m.
Glenwood improved to 30-12 on the season. Lewis Central finishes its season 28-7.
Glenwood (30-12), 25 27 22 23 15
Lewis Central (28-7), 23 25 25 25 9
Stat leaders (kills-aces-blocks): Glenwood: Joslyn Lewis (12-1-0), Elle Scarborough (12-0-3), Taryn Bertini (7-0-5), Brynlee Arnold (6-0-12), Kendall Bardsley (5-0-1), Grace Boles (24 set assists), Kelly Embray (17 set assists). L.C.: Megan Witte (21-0-1), Delaney Esterling (14-2-0), Madisyn Havermann (12-2-1), Presley Rodenburg (7-0-1)