116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
LISBON — Lisbon is a school with a storied athletic tradition.
Numerous state tournament and state championship banners adorn the walls of the Lions gymnasium in a variety of sports.
Volleyball is not one of them ... yet.
Coach Lance Kamaus saw his team move within one step of the school's first-ever state tournament berth on Monday night with an impressive 25-15, 25-14, 25-12 win over Sigourney in a Class 1A Region 6 semifinal.
The No. 4 Lions (36-6) will look to earn that state berth Wednesday night at Benton Community High School against No. 12 North Tama (29-10), which swept past Montezuma in its semifinal match Monday.
Sigourney retires at 17-14.
Kamaus brought back a formula he used in 2019 for this season's team and it worked to near perfection on Monday.
“We have three tools,” junior hitter Ella Clark said. “Our hitters have hammers, our setters have levels and our backrow players have cornerstones. The passers are the foundation of our team, the setters need to level it out and hitters have to hammer it down.”
Each player on the Lion roster had a decorated tool reflecting their position behind the bench. Following the win, the players ran over to get their tools, then sprinted over to the student body to sing the school song.
“We just got the tools a couple weeks ago,” Clark said. “We always run over and sing our school song with our fans when they are there. It's something we like to do to get them involved because they really do support us when we are on the court.”
All of the Lions' success in Monday's match began in the foundation, with the passing.
“It all started in the back row,” he said. “We challenged the kids to really win the battle of serve receive. That is one of the strengths of our team and when we do that well, we have a lot of different options. Our passing really allowed us to run our offense the way we wanted to.”
Sigourney came in with a reputation as a tough serving team, racking up far more ace serves than Lisbon on the season. That made Monday's passing performance even more impressive, which led to a strong night at the net.
“Ella had a fantastic night for us in the middle,” Kamaus said. “Sometimes she doesn't get as many attempts as the outside hitters get, but she was really on tonight.”
Lisbon closed each set in strong fashion on Monday. It scored seven of the last eight in the first set, the final eight in both the second and third sets.
Clark knows what is on the line Wednesday for the Lions.
“I know we are all excited (about Wednesday) because we get a chance to make history for our school,” she said. “We've never been to state in volleyball and we have a chance to be the first.”