LISBON — Lance Kamaus was a compulsive liar this summer.
“A lot of our girls seem to find their way over to our house a lot,” said Kamaus, volleyball coach at Lisbon High School. “They asked me all summer what I thought about our season, whether we’d be playing.
“I flat-out lied to them. I told them, ‘Yeah, I think we’ll play.’ But deep down, I didn’t think there was a chance.”
So though the 10th-ranked Lions were bitterly disappointed after a five-set home loss to WACO in a Class 1A regional semifinal Monday night, that wasn’t the only emotion in the locker room.
“I’m thankful,” Kamaus said. “Thankful for the opportunity.”
WACO (26-7) strung together a seven-point string in the deciding set to break a 4-4 tie, and prevailed, 25-16, 25-18, 17-25, 21-25, 15-5.
The Warriors will face No. 14 Burlington Notre Dame (16-5) — which held off No. 8 Fort Madison Holy Trinity in a five-setter of its own — in a regional final Wednesday at Mount Pleasant.
The winner advances to the state tournament for the first time in school history.
“We’ve worked so hard for so long,” said WACO’s Morgan Graber, one of 11 seniors on the Warriors roster, who led her team with 14 kills. “We want to make history for sure.”
Lisbon retired at 26-5, falling for just the second time in the last 24 matches. The Lions dropped the first two sets, then battled back to get even and force a fifth.
“BYOG — Bring Your Own Guts — that’s kind of been our motto since the conference tournament,” Kamaus said. “We were down 2-0 and hadn’t played well. Then it was just win the next point. Win the next point.”
The Lions scored the first two points of Game 5, but WACO answered with the next three and didn’t trail again. At 4-4, the Lions made a couple of errors, then Lona Farrier had a kill and a block, and momentum was on the Warriors’ side for good.
Molly McLaughlin added nine kills for the winners.
Peyton Robinson paced Lisbon with 15 kills, staking the Lions to a 42-39 advantage in that department. Karly Light added 10 kills and five aces, Ella Clark collected nine kills, and Kali Nelson distributed 35 assists.
Of Lisbon’s nine players that saw the floor Monday, five are sophomores, one is a junior.
WACO 3, LISBON 2 (25-16, 25-18, 17-25, 21-25, 15-5)
Class 1A Regional Semifinal, at Lisbon
Serving: WACO 96-103 (.932), Lisbon 80-89 (.899)
Aces: WACO 3 (three with 1), Lisbon 11 (Karly Light 5)
Kills: WACO 39 (Morgan Graber 14), Lisbon 42 (Peyton Robinson 15)
Assists: WACO 35 (Grace Coble 32), Lisbon 40 (Kali Nelson 35)
Blocks: WACO 11 (Ellah Kissell 4), Lisbon 2 (Ella Clark 2)
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