Flyers take second in district volleyball tourney

After uninspiring start in ’10, Flyers end season on a roll.

By MARK McNAMARA

The Lindbergh High School volleyball Flyers are not district champions, but they made a run for it last week on their home court before falling to Cor Jesu Academy in the Class 4 District 2 title match.

“If we play like we can, we can win it,” Flyers head coach Johnna Wieter said before the semifinal match against Oakville.

The Flyers, who finished with a 9-17-2 record, beat Mehlville Senior High School Oct. 26 in two games in a district quarterfinal and Oakville in three games.

“I think sometimes people look past us, just because of our record. We’re better than our record shows. It just depends on what team shows up,” Wieter said before playing Oakville.

Lindbergh won just three of its first 18 matches and did not win consecutive matches until going on a three-game winning streak in the last regular-season match and the district tournament.

“We’ve been more down than up, but that’s OK. That’s all in the past and we’re in districts now,” Lindbergh senior Molly Krus said after beating Mehlville.

Before their 25-19, 25-18 championship loss to top-seeded Cor Jesu (25-8) Oct. 27, the third-seeded Flyers outlasted the second-seeded Oakville Tigers earlier in the evening. The Flyers beat Oakville (18-12-3) for the second time in three meetings this year.

“We beat Oakville in their tournament, and then last week Oakville played great, and we didn’t play as well as we had been playing or as well as we had hoped,” Wieter said before their district contest.

Lindbergh opened the tournament with a 25-15, 25-10 win over the sixth-seeded Mehlville Panthers, who finished with a 2-18-2 record.

The Flyers struggled to get in sync in the first game, but cruised to the match win in game two. The Flyers benefited from numerous Panthers’ mistakes, but created some problems for the Panthers.

Krus, Lindbergh’s libero, dropped in a precise return from the back half of the court to start a 7-0 run that ended the match.

“I was really excited. I was smiling and everything. That doesn’t happen very often,” Krus said.

A block by Flyers juniors Jill Harmon and Mary Krus rallied the crowd in game two and made the score 20-10. Freshman Kaitlyn Schwent ended the match with a service ace. Junior Lauren Cliffe led the Panthers with six kills and two blocks.

“When our block is on, everything falls into place because our defense comes together. But we’ve had ups and downs all year with our block,” Wieter said.

Following the uninspiring start of the season, the Flyers won six of their last 10 matches.

“They’re a great group of kids, but it’s very frustrating. It’s not fun to repeat yourself a hundred-thousand times. When they know what they’re supposed to do and they’re just not doing it, then they get frustrated, too,” Wieter said.