A five-set win that took more than two hours gave the Lamar Community College volleyball team a winning record at the halfway point of their Region IX-South schedule.
The Lopes (15-10 overall, 3-2 region) beat Trinidad State Junior College 23-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 15-8 on a festive yet tense Saturday afternoon that celebrated LCC's sophomores and raised awareness for breast cancer during the team's Dig Pink event
"As with a lot of our season, we sure made things entertaining," LCC head coach Dante Geoffrey said. "I'm glad our fans got their money's worth and that we were able to finish our home slate with a hard-earned win."
"This team is very lucky to have a small but dedicated group of sophomores that routinely put the program's interests ahead of theirs, and are able and willing to lead a large freshmen group down the right path," Geoffrey said. "The fact that they also help this team win volleyball games on the court is an added bonus."
Hansen put down the winning kill to finish the marathon match.
Freshman Star Hoskie fell two kills shy of her second triple-double of the season. The setter/opposite from Arizona scored eight kills, 37 assists and 17 digs to give both LCC setters double-doubles in the win.
The Lopes held a 21-14 advantage in the first set but the Trojans outscored Lamar 11-2 in a stunning turnaround to take the early lead, and with it the command of the match.
A diverse, inside-out attack helped the Lopes tie the match at one set apiece, and then again after four sets.
"There was a lot to be proud of in that match, but I think the most notable improvement came from the middle," Geoffrey said. "We've been working diligently to develop a more consistent threat there, and I think our middle-setter connection looked great Saturday. If we keep that up, it just makes us that much tougher to defend."
The win salvaged a weekend split – as well as a winning record in region – for the Lopes, who were upended by Otero in three quick sets at home on Thursday.
Lamar fell 19-25, 22-25, 13-25 in front of a home crowd expecting more during the rivalry match.
"That was disappointing, we hadn't played nor felt like that since the beginning of the season, when we were still searching for our identity," Geoffrey said. "We know Otero is a very good team, but we know we're much better than what we showed against them. We can't do anything but move forward and use it to get better."
Hoskie had six kills, 14 assists and 15 digs. Francisco led the Lopes with seven kills while Hansen added four and Potter put down three.
Ortiz trailed only Hoskie with 12 digs, Bomfim had 11 and Freyre picked up eight. Ortiz also served two aces.
The Lopes play at Northeastern JC Thursday night, at Western Nebraska Friday evening and at McCook on Saturday afternoon.