Lakota sports fans have the unique opportunity tonight to watch both the Lakota East and Lakota West varsity volleyball programs play in back-to-back regional semifinal games at Lebanon High School. If both Lakota schools win then they will face off in the regional final.
Lakota East (22-2) will have the tough task of trying to defeat unbeaten Mount Notre Dame (25-0) in its regional semifinal match at 6:30 p.m.
Currently, the Cougars are ranked No. 6 nationally by MaxPreps and haven’t lost since Oct. 13, 2011. Ironically, that loss came against Lakota East.
“We know that our game on Thursday against Mount Notre Dame is going to be a battle,” Lakota East head coach Casie Garland said. “They are the strongest team in the state thus far at 25-0 and defending state champions, so it’s definitely not going to be easy.
“However, I do feel our team is fully capable of battling with the best of them.”
Both teams feature a future Big Ten volleyball player. East is led by Purdue commit Ashley Evans, who had 23 kills and 23 digs in the 30-28, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18 win against McAuley in the district final last Saturday. On the other side of the net, MND is led by senior Michelle Strizak, who is committed to Illinois. Strizak led the Girls Greater Cincinnati League with 381 kills.
In the late game Thursday, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Lakota West (20-5) will take on Ursuline (19-6). It will be the third meeting this fall between the two teams – with the Lions winning the first two: 25-20, 25-17, 25-27, 25-18 and 25-23, 25-21, 25-23.
“Ursuline is a great team,” Lakota West head coach Tracey Kornau said. “They are very well coached, always solid fundamentally and always play great defense.
“It will be a great game.”
Like in the earlier matchup, each team is led by one of the region’s best players. Junior Sam Fry, who had 362 kills this season and has already verbally committed to Notre Dame, leads Ursuline. While, Furman commit Annie Bierman, who led the Greater Miami Conference in kills this fall with 297, leads Lakota West.