LAGRANGE — Twelve was a magic number for the Lutheran West Longhorns on Thursday night, thanks in large part to sophomore Margaux Thompson.
First of all, that’s Thompson’s number, and she was a key factor in the Longhorns’ sweeping past Keystone 25-14, 25-21, 25-19 in a Patriot Athletic Conference crossover match.
Thompson got the match-winning point on a slam that hit the top of the net and dropped in as Lutheran West improved to 4-1, 2-0 in the Stripes Division.
Thompson led the Longhorns in kills with and service points with — what else? — 12 of each. And she just missed the magic number in digs with 11.
“My setter deserves the credit,” Thompson said of junior Abby DeSimpelare.
“She was really good today. The team’s win made me really happy because Keystone is usually pretty good. They beat us last year.”
DeSimpelare, who had 27 assists, also wanted to pass the glory to teammates.
“I can’t do a good job without my passers,” she said. “I thought our team energy was really good tonight.”
Keystone (1-1, 0-1 Stars) started the match hot, jumping out to a 5-0 lead behind the serving of senior co-captain Brooke Trego, who had two aces in the streak. DeSimpelare got Lutheran West on the board with a slam, and the Longhorns took the lead to stay on Thompson’s slam for the final point in the Game 1 win.
The second game featured eight ties before a Keystone ball-hitting violation put Lutheran West up to stay 20-19.
Thompson got three of the Longhorns’ last five points, one a slam and the other off a serve.
Game 3 was tied at 8 before the Longhorns pulled away. Keystone rallied to cut the deficit to 21-18 before Lutheran West scored four of the last five
points, three by Thompson.
“We started out down in the first game, but I wasn’t too worried,” Longhorns coach Stephanie Rivera said. “After that they felt comfortable, sticking together and passing very well. I think we’re going to have a good season.”
Keystone coach Bud Trego thought his team lost its fire late.
“Our intensity was real good in the first two games but in the third we lost that intensity as our passing went south.”
Sophomore Krisandra Mezera led the ’Cats in kills with eight, followed by Anna Anikienko with five. Mezera also led in solo blocks with four, while Brooke Trego had a team-high 16 assists. Trego also had nine serving points with three aces.
Caitlin Farley, Elizabeth Hayes and Summer Constable each had six digs to share the team lead.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.