Wheatland battles, but Lincoln prevails 3-0
The 2017 Lincoln High boys volleyball team had plenty of room for improvement after a 2-17 season, only to have to go through another coaching change this year. However, the ’18 squad already has four wins and is 1-2 in the Sierra Valley Conference.
After previous head coach David Ramil was discharged from the service, he was offered a job he could not refuse. Two weeks before the season was to start, coach Keith Hart found out he was to be the new head coach.
“Getting them out of their bad habits and creating good habits,” Hart said. “A lot of it has to do with footwork.”
The Fighting Zebras demonstrated they were getting a handle on their footwork playing the Pirates in Wheatland Friday.
Lincoln swept their hosts 3-0, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-20.
In spite of winning in three sets, the third was the only set the Zebras did not have to come back from an early deficit. Lincoln opened up a 13-10 lead at the midway point and held the Pirates at bay for the victory.
Wheatland was never able to get closer than four points after the Zebras went up 18-14.
Aaron Vandeveer had two kills and a block in the rally; Riley Myer and Colby Easter also had two kills. The Pirates committed seven errors on serve to help give Lincoln breathing room.
Hart said one of the first things he had to do was to get his players using their feet to get into the proper position.
“A lot of it has to do with footwork,” Coach Hart said. “Once you get the footwork down, then you can build your foundation from there.”
Wheatland took an early lead to go up 7-4. Lincoln responded by going to the net to block attacks by the Pirates and caught fire. Within a few plays, the Zebras took a commanding 17-10 lead and held it to the finish 25-20.
“You work with the guys in the front row so they do their job so the back row can do theirs,” said Hart. “If the guys in the front row are not doing their job, let’s say blocking, if you leave holes in the block then it’s hard for the defense to do their job.”
Ryan Hammer rejected two attacks from the Bucs and Brian Velasquez also had a block.
Wheatland took off in the first set, thanks to some strong serves. The Pirates held a five-point edge early on and stretched it to 17-10 at one point.
However, Lincoln did not panic and caught the Bucs at 19-all.
From there, the defense took over to finish the first set 25-20.
“Consistency is a big part of this game. When you become consistent and build your foundation, then comes confidence” said Hart. “Once you get that confidence going then you can be competitive in whatever league that you play.”
Lincoln had a home match scheduled against Sierra Valley League opponent El Dorado (3-0) Thursday. Following spring break, they were to travel to Bear River (1-1) April 3 and then home for a match against Cordova (0-2) April 5.