SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Victoria Krohn didn’t want to psych herself out. Just approach the match like any other.
But that’s easier said than done when considering the Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln senior’s rough history with Sioux City Heelan. She couldn’t remember a time her team had even taken a set against the perennial state-tournament qualifier.
So excuse Krohn and the rest of the Lynx for celebrating a little louder and longer following a landmark victory against their longtime tormenter Tuesday. Unrated A.L. shrugged off a slow start to stun Iowa Class 4-A No. 9 Heelan 22-25, 25-19, 15-12 in the Crusaders’ gymnasium, taking a huge first step toward its first Missouri River Conference title since 2007.
“This is one of the more rewarding wins for us ever,” said Krohn, who boomed a match-high 10 kills. “Especially because of the past.”
A.L.’s victory snapped an 11-match slide against Heelan dating back to a nonconference contest in 2008. The Crusaders took their 18th straight set against the Lynx early in Tuesday’s tilt before the visitors stormed back to take the last two.
A.L. also swept Sioux City East 25-17, 25-11 in the afternoon quadrangular to begin MRC action at 2-0 and extend its overall record to 14-5.
But the result against Heelan (8-10, 1-1) was what left the Lynx giddy afterward. Junior Lauren Colpitts contributed eight kills and senior Delaney Bolton added six. Krechele Brown and libero Bailee Gofta anchored the back row, and setter Samantha Bohnet spread the ball around effectively against a tall-but-young Crusader frontline.
“I think we didn’t think we could play with them (in the past),” Bohnet said. “But until we learn we can play with anybody, we’re going to keep losing those games. We came together as a team tonight like crazy.”
Four Heelan errors fueled an early 6-0 run that propelled A.L. in the decisive third set. After facing a 13-7 hole, the Crusaders drew within 14-12, thanks to kills by three players and a pair of Lynx misfires.
Bolton finished the night with a kill that deflected off the Heelan block.
“I think this kind of opened their eyes a little bit,” Abraham Lincoln first-year coach Brittany Ridenour said. “They have gotten better and they are getting better every day.”
Heelan, which graduated six key seniors from last year’s state team, entered Tuesday with a 67-1 all-time MRC record in the regular season. The only loss came to the Lynx in 2007, when Ridenour and assistant coach Megan (Smyser) Wiese were seniors on a Lynx team that went on to win the league crown.
“I haven’t seen Heelan since I was in high school, so I knew it was going to be good competition,” Ridenour said. “We started playing and had to think of it as just another team.”
CB Abraham Lincoln (14-5, 2-0 MRC) ........ 22 25 15
Sioux City Heelan (8-10, 1-1 MRC) ............. 25 19 12
CBAL (kills-aces-blocks): Samantha Bohnet 2-0-2, Bailee Gofta 0-0-0, Krechele Brown 0-0-0, Lauren Colpitts 8-0-1, Deana Roth 0-0-0, Victoria Krohn 10-0-1, Hannah Hennings 1-0-0, Kelsey Johnson 3-1-1, Delaney Bolton 6-0-0.
SCH: Annie Fitzsimmons 0-0-1, Yasmeen Rose 2-0-2, Rachel Vondrak 4-0-0, Grace Hanno 12-0-2, Taylor Ferguson 6-0-0, Jenna Bork 1-0-0, Abby McCarthy 8-2-0.
Set assists: CBAL, Bohnet 26, Gofta 2. SCH, Ferguson 23, McCarthy, Vondrak 2, Bork.
Thomas Jefferson drops two
SIOUX CITY — Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson lost its first two league matches, falling to Sioux City Heelan 25-11, 25-10 and to Sioux City East 25-17, 25-10.
The Jackets (1-9, 0-2 MRC) were victimized by long droughts against both schools. Their closest set was the opener against East, when they watched the Black Raiders extend a 16-11 advantage with nine straight points. Cathryn O’Hara and Rachel O’Neal each finished with four kills.
Against Heelan, Kennedy Lundberg converted a team-best three kills.