116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Lisbon volleyball team entered the season with plenty of goals.
Sure, a third-consecutive Tri-Rivers Conference division title was on the list. But this Lions team wanted to sweep their way to the crown.
Six conference matches. Six wins. All sweeps.
'Not taking anyone for granted,' Lisbon senior setter McKenna Nelson said after the Class 1A seventh-ranked Lions swept Cedar Valley Christian, 25-14, 25-18, 25-15, in their TRC regular-season finale Tuesday night at Cedar Valley Christian School. 'Coming in thinking, 'OK, we have to do everything we can.' Doing the little things. Not overthinking anything.'
Lisbon (31-6, 6-0 TRC) jumped on the host Huskies with seven of the first 10 points in Set 1 and 8-4 opening bursts in the final two sets. Nelson deftly navigated the action and produced plenty of opportunities for hitters Rylan Allison, Emma Howard, Olivia Hasselmann, Karly Light and Maysun Marshall, who surpassed 500 career kills last week.
'The biggest thing is we were very aggressive, I felt, serving the ball,' Lisbon Coach Lance Kamaus said. 'We were aggressive at the net. McKenna really put is in good position. I thought we had a good start in Set 1. Maysun Marshall, No. 8 for us, has hit well all year. We got her rolling early. I think she had seven or eight kills in the first set and that really set the tone. And then we were able to really distribute the ball a little bit more evenly after that.'
The Lions will host the conference tournament beginning Thursday with pool play. The top two teams will advance to Saturday's conference tournament championship, where Lisbon hopes to avenge last year's loss to Starmont.
Win there, and the Lions will surge into regionals on the hunt for the first state tournament berth in school history.
Hefty goals for a group of seniors eager to leave their mark on the program.
'Us seven seniors have been playing together since we were in fourth grade,' Nelson said. 'We know each other pretty well and coming from a small school, we also know each other really well. We love playing with each other, we love hanging out with each other outside of volleyball, too.'
Cedar Valley Christian enters the conference tournament at 9-14 overall with a 3-3 finish in league play.