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Louisburg 3, Spring Hill 1

SPRING HILL – When the Louisburg High School volleyball team ventured to Spring Hill on Tuesday for a Frontier League dual, not only were the Lady Cats trying to protect their No. 2 state ranking, but they also wanted to preserve their perfect league mark.

The Lady Cats were able to do both against a tough-minded Spring Hill team.

Louisburg went on to defeat the Broncos 25-18, 21-25, 25-18 and 27-25 to earn its third straight league win to start the season as the Lady Cats aim for a league title.

“Overall we did alright,” Louisburg coach Jessica Compliment said. “Spring Hill is tough. We saw them play at Lansing last week and we knew they were going to be a tough team and they made some improvements in the offseason. For our girls, it is a game of momentum. We will go on rush and then we dive back down. It is like a roller coaster for us at times.

“In that second set, we made quite a few mental errors and that was the difference in the game is making those non-negotiable mistakes and errors. Spring Hill just capitalized on those mistakes. We do have experience on our side, and our girls have been down before and we have picked ourselves back up. We just haven’t been able to come out strong and stay that way. We definitely need to work on that because as we go through the season, teams will be getting better.”

The Lady Cats (9-5) opened up strong as it took the first set, but faltered in the second after the Broncos took advantage of some Louisburg mistakes. In a road environment, Louisburg picked itself back up and played well at the net, and on defense, to win the third set and take control of the match.

“I told the girls that they can’t expect to come into their house, play on their court and expect things to be easy,” Compliment said. “They have to earn every point and they have to want it more than they do. For them, they answered back with a couple key plays and we needed to get our serve receive back to where it needed to be. We stepped that up a little bit and we passed it a little better there. We served a lot more aggressive in that one as well.”

Senior Anna Dixon goes up for one of her team-high 18 kills Tuesday against Spring Hill.

Louisburg had the advantage in the fourth set as it took a 21-16 lead late, but the Broncos fought back to tie it at 21-all. The two teams traded points till it got to 25-all and then Lady Cat senior Anna Dixon finished it off with a pair of kills to end the match.

Dixon led Louisburg in kills on the night with 18 and junior middle hitter Haley Cain had a strong night as well with 11 kills. Senior outside hitter Carson Buffington finished with six in the win.

Freshman setter Rinny McMullen had a big night running the offense as she led the Lady Cats with 27 assists and fellow freshman Davis Guetterman had eight.

Defensively, junior Riley Kallevig had a busy evening as she recorded a team-high 24 digs and Dixon was second on the team with 16. Junior libero Reilly Ratliff-Becher also had double figure digs with 13.

Sophomore middle blocker Carleigh Pritchard and Dixon each led Louisburg with three blocks on the night, while Cain and Kallevig each recorded two.

The Lady Cats will try for another league win Tuesday when they host Ottawa for another Frontier League dual. Varsity is set to begin at approximately 6:30 p.m.