Prep Volleyball

'Free-spirited' Lisbon owns its highest ranking ever

Prep volleyball notes: Lions are No. 7 in 1A, 14-4 and having a blast

Lisbon volleyball coach Lance Kamaus talks with players during a timeout at a match last season against Starmont. The Lions are 14-4 and ranked No. 7 in Class 1A. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Lisbon volleyball coach Lance Kamaus talks with players during a timeout at a match last season against Starmont. The Lions are 14-4 and ranked No. 7 in Class 1A. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Lance Kamaus probably has led volleyball teams with more talent.

But none with more joy.

“This is the most fun group I’ve had in 14 years,” said Kamaus, the head coach at Lisbon High School. “They’re the most carefree, most free-spirited group you’re ever going to see.

“If something goes wrong, they don’t dwell on it. They just move on.”

As a result, the Lions (14-4) don’t let big moments get the best of them. Six times in Saturday tournaments, they have gone the distance in three-set matches. Five times, they have prevailed.

“I can’t say enough about this group,” Kamaus said. “Every coach should get a chance to coach a group like this at some point. They’re so good at flushing something bad and moving on to the next point.”

Lisbon is rated No. 7 in Class 1A, its highest volleyball ranking in school history.

It is a veteran squad, with seven seniors. Maysun Marshall is the focal point of the offense; she averages 3.16 kills per set and hits at a rate of .329.

“We don’t want her to take the first ball unless she absolutely has to,” Kamaus said of Marshall, who was named to the all-tournament teams at Clinton Prince of Peace and Crestwood this fall. “She’s so good at what she does. She has to hit for us.”

McKenna Nelson is among the 1A leaders in assists (8.05 per set). And Peyton Robinson, a versatile freshman, has blended in nicely with the veterans.

“One match, she had seven kills and no errors in 11 (hitting) attempts,” Kamaus said. “The next match, she played libero for us.”

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On paper, it appeared the Lions would take a substantial step backward this year after going 25-11 in 2018. Their top two hitters graduated, as well as their setter and top passer.

“A lot of people didn’t know what we were going to have,” Kamaus said. “But we did.”

TURN UP THE HEAT

The gymnasium at Tipton Middle School is modern, with one exception.

No air conditioning.

“We’re used to it,” Tigers Coach Amy Calonder said. “We hope to use the heat to our advantage.”

Class 3A No. 1 Tipton (17-2 overall, 3-0 River Valley Conference South Division) hosts No. 3 West Liberty (9-2, 1-1) in a key divisional match Thursday.

“There’s a lot of hoopla around it,” Calonder said. “But the kids have been level-headed about it. The kids were listening to the end of (West Liberty’s) match against Wilton on the bus ride home (Tuesday), and I heard one of the kids say, ‘We’ll listen, but what we have to focus on most is ourselves.’”

The 3A state runner-up last year, Tipton won the Linn-Mar Invitational title Saturday and is led by Sommer Daniel, the reigning 3A state player of the year. A University of Utah commit, Daniel averages 3.23 kills, 4.15 assists and 2.40 digs per set.

West Liberty counters with the hitting duo of sophomore Macy Daufeldt (5.18 kills per set) and junior Martha Pace (3.96).

SHORT-HANDED SAINTS

Class 4A No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier was without two key players by the end of the North Scott Invitational on Saturday, and still claimed the title.

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Juniors Eve Magill (ankle) and Katy Garrison (back) are expected back in about two weeks, according to Coach Austin Filer. They average about 6 kills per set between them.

The Saints have won 14 straight matches and are 14-1 heading into Saturday’s Marion Invitational.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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