Even though the level of volleyball was much higher in the rematch, for the Lewistown volleyball team, the end results remained the same.

Even though the level of volleyball was much higher in the rematch, for the Lewistown volleyball team, the end results remained the same.


In a battle of the Nos. 2 and 3 sub-sectional seeds, the Lady Indians would defeat West Prairie 25-16, 25-17 in Thursday’s Class 1A Regional final played at Astoria High School.


Lewistown won for the 22nd time in its last 23 matches in improving to 29-6 on the season. It was also the Lady Indians’ first post-season win against West Prairie in five tries dating back to 2012.


West Prairie saw its season end with a final record of 21-13-2.


“We knew they were a good team,” said junior outside/middle hitter Sydney Shaeffer. “But we had all the confidence in the world that we could do it. We just played our game.”


The Lady Indians advance to Monday’s Class 1A Sectional at Peoria Heights where it will play Kewanee Wethersfield (35-1) in the 6:30 p.m. semifinal. The first semifinal at 5:30 p.m. will have Annawan (21-11-3) squaring off with Hartsburg-Emden (32-4).


“We served better and we passed better (this match) than when we played at Lewistown,” said West Prairie coach Teri Paul. “We fought and the rallies were longer. We got a little tentative where we weren’t hitting... They were youthful mistakes.”


And just like their October 9 meeting back at Lewistown, a 25-18, 25-12 Lady Indian victory, front row players senior Hannah Burdess and Shaeffer had a huge say in the contest.


Shaeffer had 15 kills, giving her 35 for the two regional matches. Meanwhile, Burdess added 12 kills for the Lewistown offense, giving her 18 total in regional play.


“They have those two girls that take care of the net well,” said Paul of Burdess and Shaeffer. “It’s tough to dig that ball and they’re above your block. And they have smarts and are knowledgable what to do and where to put it. They do enough where you can’t keep back and you’ve got to chase.”


“I think our serve-receive was perfect and that helped us stay in system,” said Lewistown coach Sonya Baldwin.


“They played so much better than when we played them in-season,” said Shaeffer of West Prairie. “They switched up their hits.”


West Prairie scored the opening point of the match on Maddie Calvert’s serve, but Lewistown would score the next five points, four on Carmyn Baldwin’s serve that included two Carli Heffren kills, to give the Lady Indians a 5-1 lead.


Lewistown would maintain the lead the remainder of the set with West Prairie getting no closer than three points, the final time coming at 16-13. From there, the Lady Indians recorded nine of the final 12 points to take the opening set in 18 minutes.


Set two had seven ties early on, but at 9-all, another service run by Baldwin helped Lewistown take a 12-9 lead. The Lady Cyclones inched within 14-13 before a tip by Shaeffer, followed by a three-point service run by Cortney Hopkins upped Lewistown’s lead to 18-13.


West Prairie got no closer than three points the rest of the way with a kill by Burdess wrapping up the 42-minute contest.


“I felt like we were confident,” said Baldwin. “We had some nerves early on in the game (against South Fulton). But I think they were here ready to play. … I knew we were going to have to stay mentally strong. It’s going to be a back-and-forth game. We can’t let anything affect us. (Things) were going to happen because they’re a good team and they’re young.


“Their team was very scrappy, so we knew we had to finish strong,” she added.


“We just played well together,” said Shaeffer. “No drama at all bringing us down. Keeping our heads up all the time.”


Baldwin had 27 set assists, 11 digs and 10 service points, while Shaeffer added three blocks and Kaitie Van Pelt nine digs for Lewistown.


“We think we can go far this year,” said Shaeffer. “We’re really pushing for that. We’re ready for it.”


“I wish them well. I think they will represent us well,” said Paul of Lewistown.


Bailey Rauch had eight kills and 1.5 blocks for West Prairie. Kyah Beck added six kills and four service points, while Emily Richardson had 14 digs and McLain Engnell seven set assists for the Lady Cyclones.