It didn’t take long to notice fans were in for a fun night, from the gym packed high, two schools with a dream, and two student sections primed to be loud – everyone knew no matter the outcome, a good game of volleyball was coming.
That’s actually what we got in Lake Mills on Tuesday night when Lake Mills defeated Forest City three sets to zero to win their 16th conference championship in 18 years. Lake Mills coach Jim Boehmer in his 30th season, recorded win number 911 and said though the score was 3-0, it felt like it was the 5th set 15-13.
The final scores were 25-15, 25-21, 25-22. The Indians largest lead came in set-3 when they opened an early 8-0 lead.
Leah Moen has been stellar for the Bulldogs this season. She is currently top-5 statewide (all classes) in service efficiency. With last night’s perfect 15-15 with three aces, Moen has served 272 times this season and has only failed to keep it alive six times. Yes, she’s 266 of 272 – 97.8%. Moen was essential for the Bulldogs and said afterward, as a senior, this meant a lot.
When asked about what she said to the team when Forest City took an 8-0 lead in set-3 as a senior leader, Moen responded, “I kept repeating we want this, it’s our season let’s take it back we want the conference title.”
Helping to make her case for conference player of the year, Ellie Hanna was nearly perfect. Before even mentioning the stats, Hanna could be seen jumping and screaming all night long to keep the Bulldogs fire up.
Hanna and Brooke Bergo led the team in kills with nine apiece, and she was 8-9 serving with one ace. Forest City tied to hit around her, as she was the conference’s best blocker coming into the night – and that worked out for them. Though, Lake Mills saw Kit Byars and Ella Stene step up with a combined 12 blocks.
Lake Mills used late charges in both the second and third sets, both of which Forest City had leads in before the Bulldogs went on their late runs. Hanna says they kept fighting for every point.
“The girls see the conference title on the wall every day, and I’m sure that adds some pressure, but the girls responded well and have worked very hard this year. Our next goal is to get another 30 win season”. – Jim Boehmer
Forest City was the defending conference champion, and Lake Mills hadn’t lost back-to-back conference championships (regular season) since 1999 and 2000 – before these girls were born.
Lake Mills and Forest City will now gear up for postseason runs, though the Bulldogs know it will be tough no matter which way they’re sent. Class 2A volleyball is the strongest in northern Iowa. In the latest Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Volleyball Top-15, five of the 15 are possible opponents for Lake Mills, including #1 Dike-New Hartford, #5 Western Christian, #6 Sumner-Fredericksburg, #7 Denver, and #13 Osage – the defending Class 3A champions.
Zarren Egesdal is the sports director for Coloff Media radio stations KIOW and KHAM. He can be reached daily at email@example.com or 641-585-1073. Do you have a story idea? Feel free to contact him. Zarren is an award-winning journalist providing coverage to all area schools. You will hear Zarren calling games as the ‘voice of the Forest City Indians’ on KIOW (107.3), the Indians’ flagship station throughout the year.