Volleyball: LC makes itself at home, wins regional at Valpo
By Tommy WIlliams Post-Tribune correspondent October 23, 2012 11:38PM
Lake Central Coach Tina Tinberg celebrates with her players after defeating Valparaiso in a 3-0 set sweep at Valparaiso High School on Tuesday October 23, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 25, 2012 11:50AM
VALPARAISO — In the mind of Lake Central coach Tina Tinberg, Tuesday night was a case of her team overcoming the adversity of playing a Duneland Conference foe for a regional title on its home floor.
“I told my team that we’re walking into the lion’s den in a sea of green,” Tinberg said. “We expected it to be difficult but I train my girls on how to focus in and adapt to overcome adversity.”
And that they did, finishing strong in their first game, then making a strong comeback effort after facing game point in the second in defeating Valparaiso 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 to win Lake Central’s first regional title since 1994.
“I’m really overwhelmed by all of this and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said freshman Tori Gardenhire who was major part of the win with 15 kills and two service aces. “I think our aggressive serves took them out of their system and I don’t think they played their best game today.
“This is really exciting for us and our whole team is thrilled with the win.”
The first two games could be classified as thrilling before the Indians led start to finish to clinch the third and final game.
The first game was tied at 10-10 before the Indians went on a run to take an 18-13 lead, which the Vikings would never recover from.
Game 2 was the best of the match, with neither team leading by more than three points. Valparaiso (28-9) was actually one point away from winning it at 24-22 before another Indians run helped them come from behind to win the second game.
For Vikings coach Katie Lenard, it was nothing different than what she saw during the regular season against the Indians.
“I guess you can say they have our number this year,” she said about the Indians’ three wins in the four matches the teams played.
“We just couldn’t execute, we were having trouble with just about every facet of the game,” Lenard said. “We just couldn’t get everything on the same page for us.”
For the Indians (28-9), who have a semistate date with Carmel (25-1)at Huntington North on Saturday, Brooke Renner added 11 kills while Nikki Garza had 21 assists and Lauren Dinino added two aces. For Valparaiso, Noelle Eveland had 11 kills, while Kelsie Schutz added 17 digs and five kills.