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No. 2 Lady Spartans sweep Northeast Goose Lake in Class 3A regional semifinal

Jordan Smith gets ready to hammer a kill against Northeast Goose Lake in the Region 7 semifinal Oct. 30 in Solon. Smith led the team with 12 kills and delivered four ace serves in the 3-0 sweep.

SOLON– There was no slow start to this one.
Solon’s volleyball team dealt a 25-4 loss to Northeast Goose Lake in the first set of a Class 3A Region 7 semifinal Oct. 30 in Solon, and went on to sweep the Rebels for a chance at a state tournament berth.
The win put the Lady Spartans in the Region 7 final against Dyersville Beckman Tuesday, Nov. 4, in Center Point (see sidebar).
“We came out strong in the first set and really asserted ourselves from the service line,” said Solon head coach Peter Gustin of the first set against Northeast. “Taylor Nearad started us on an 8-0 run to start the game, and Grace Keith followed suit right after to put the game out of hand.”
The Lady Spartans racked up 11 service aces on the night, led by Jordan Smith with four, and Nearad with three. Reed McCarty added two and Jess Heick and Keith each added one.
Solon went on to win the second set, 25-18, and the third, 25-16.
“Our defense and hitting efficiency pleased me greatly,” Gustin said. “However, we still gave away too many points due to a lack of communication, which is going to be essential if we want to make it back to state.”
The Lady Spartans were without the services of junior Josey Hajek, who sat on the bench in street clothes. That provided more playing time for Heick, who had two kills, 11 digs and two blocks.
Solon had 10 blocks on the night, led by Jordan Runge with five.
“(The Rebels’) sets were oftentimes high due to being out of system, so our block was able to close more frequently,” Gustin said. “We overpowered them on the net in both facets of the game.”
The Lady Spartans were led on offense by Smith with 12 kills. Runge added 10 and Keith eight. The three top hitters all connected on about a third of their attacks against the Rebels.
Nearad had 20 assists to pace the team, while Reed McCarty and Heick tied for the lead in digs with 11.