LAKE MILLS – Seventh-rated (2A) Lake Mills put on a defensive clinic on Tuesday and dispatched a solid Central Springs squad 3-0 to advance to regional final volleyball action for the 10th consecutive year.
Set scores were 25-9, 25-15 and 25-19.
“We had some crazy saves,” Bulldogs coach Jim Boehmer said. “We never give up on any ball. That’s commitment.”
Lake Mills and Central Springs met once during the regular season with the Bulldogs winning 2-1, but the close match that some expected never materialized.
Lake Mills opened with a 6-0 run and built a 20-4 lead in the first set before closing it out.
The Bulldogs then put together a 10-point run early in the second set to take control for a 2-0 lead.
To the Panthers’ credit, Central Springs battled with the Bulldogs for most of the third set.
Central Springs managed to hold a 16-14 lead before a seven-point run that was sparked by three Teah Kesler kills put the Bulldogs over the top.
“Central Springs just wasn’t going to go down,” Boehmer said. “We had to earn it.”
Kesler put together a strong all-around match with nine kills, eight digs and three ace serves.
Hannah Hanson added six kills and Megan Groe and Audrey Casperson had five kills apiece for Lake Mills.
Ashley Groe had 26 assists and Dana Baumann had 12 digs for the Bulldogs.
Lake Mills (39-3) will travel to Nashua on Tuesday for a regional final match against Wapsie Valley, which defeated South Winneshiek 3-0 on Thursday.
“You want the opportunity to play for state,” Boehmer said. “Maybe this is our year.”
Central Springs finished its season with a 26-9 mark.