The Lake Region State College Lady Royals played their hearts out last night, and nearly caused the hearts of fans to quit. The Lady Royals took on the Dawson Community College Buccaneers at the Sweetwater Elementary Gym, in Devils Lake, and won.

The Lake Region State College Lady Royals played their hearts out last night, and nearly caused the hearts of fans to quit.  The Lady Royals took on the Dawson Community College Buccaneers at the Sweetwater Elementary Gym, in Devils Lake, and won.

The first and third games were played uphill by the Lady Royals, always down by just a couple, but not able to pull ahead.  In the first game, the Ladies played the net hard, and had great digs in the middle, but they languished either down by a couple or a brief tie.

They caught the Bucs at 14 a piece, but the Bucs went up by three on an ace into the backcourt.  The Ladies broke serve at 17-14 and took a brief one-point lead, 18-17, on kills from Jexley Porrata and Annie Jorgenson, with Maara Nelson serving.

The Bucs took a timeout, and when they came back, the two teams traded serves until the Ladies broke the game open at 20-19.  A big block from Elizabeth Lucy gave the Ladies a four-point lead.  They won 25-20.

The Lady Royals fairly coasted through the second game.  Their middle hitters were never out of position, or seemed to appear wherever a Bucs’ shot was placed.  The volleys were outstanding with digs from the floor, the net, even one deflection off the ceiling by the Ladies.  The Ladies went up by three, extended it to four, six, and went on an eight-point run 21-14.  

The net play was steller for the Ladies (see accompanying game 2 video).  Nelson, Lucy, Jorgenson, Sydney Hertlein, and Porrata, and Rachel Hill all combined for kills or blocks to keep the Bucs off the board.  The Lady Royals won 25-15.

The Buccaneers came out strong in the third game and put the Lady Royals in a bad place.  Bucs Mara Johnson and Tawney Stanton defended the net well against Lady Royals kill attempts, and they found holes in the middle court.  The Ladies made a four-point turnaround and went up two, 7-5, but the Bucs came right back on Cierra Loudon serves.

The Ladies tied the game at 15, then at 19.  Finally the Ladies went up 21-19, and it looked like they’d serve out at 25.  No such win.

A spectacular series of volleys ensued.  Bucs 23-22.  Tied, 23-23. Tied 24-24.  A Buc mistake in the middle put the Ladies up 25-24, but a Bucs kill made it 25-25, and then 26-25 Buccaneers.  But a long serve tied the game at 26.  The Bucs, at 28-28, missed wide on a tip, and then hit the net on a return of serve to give the Lady Royals a 30-28 win.

“How exciting was that!” said Brigitte Greywater after the game.  Greywater is the Lady Royals head coach.  “The girls played so well, and they were having fun.  Our middle hitters were great tonight.  They kept us in the game.  This is what we want.  This win is a good turning point for the girls.  It gives them confidence and shows them they can do it.”

On the night, Maara Nelson led the team in digs with 19.  Jorgenson had 13 kills and three aces.  Porrata had 10 kills.  Hill had 41 assists and three blocks.  And Fabianne Besosa had three aces.