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Volleyball: Lambert cruises past Mountain View into state quarterfinals
Lambert's Claire Richey blocks a Mountain View player's hit Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. - photo by Brian Paglia

Lambert cruised past Mountain View to advance to the quarterfinals of the GHSA volleyball state playoffs.

The Longhorns swept Tuesday night’s contest 25-17, 25-15, 25-13.

“I was very impressed with our team tonight,” Lambert’s Madeleine Bertz said. “I feel like coming into tonight, we weren’t really sure what to expect. Mountain View’s not a team that we’ve played a lot. But we focused on ourselves this week at practice. We ran all the basic drills that we do, but we put more pressure on ourselves and prepared ourselves for anything that could happen tonight. I’m really proud of the way that we came out, did our thing, and put the pressure on them.”

Lambert (29-11) got started quickly in the first game, taking an early 7-3 lead. Then, thanks in large part to Bertz’s serving, they racked up five consecutive points to take a 20-11 lead.

Lambert's Bella Tolone attempts a hit against Mountain View in the second round of the Class 7A state playoffs Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. - photo by Brian Paglia

“I liked the energy the team had,” Lambert head coach Missey Hall said. “They didn’t come out as energetic as we wanted, but they picked it up as the game went along. They were very even-keeled, they weren’t too high, they weren’t too low. I was really proud of their next-ball mentality. If they made a mistake, they were able to correct it the next time.”

The Longhorns came out quickly in the second game as well, taking an early 5-1 lead, but Mountain View (33-20) came right back to tie it at 5-5. The second game went back-and-forth to begin with, but Lambert went on a 14-4 run to take a commanding 24-12 lead before closing out the game. And once again, Bertz’s serving played a big part.

That was a theme throughout the match.

In the third game, you could tell the Longhorns had an energy the Bears couldn’t match. They got out to a quick 5-1 start. Soon, it was 12-4. Bella Tolone recorded four straight aces to take a 20-9 lead in the final game, and Tolone also put the exclamation point on the night with an emphatic kill for match point.

Tolone led the Longhorns with five aces, while Bertz had three. Lambert had a balanced attack in the match. Ally Hall led the team with 11 kills, while Bertz and Amanda Sinning each had seven, and Tolone had six.

Lambert made it all the way to the state semifinals last season, and they’re one step away from that this season, but Bertz knows there’s still things they can improve on.

“I think we can improve on bringing energy, especially because this is the state playoffs,” Bertz said. “I think it’s amazing that there are freshman on the team that are getting to experience a deep state playoff run, and I’m really looking forward to (the next match).”