The Lake Mills volleyball team captured the Top of Iowa West conference title on Tuesday, with a three-set sweep of Forest City. The Bulldogs captured the title for the 17th time in the past 18 years, with the only exception being the 2018 season.
"I'm feeling awesome," head coach Jim Boehmer said. "Forest City is Forest City, and they're always good. I've been in this conference since 1991, ... and we know it's going to run through them. It is a big win, and this enthusiasm is out of respect for their program."
The match was competitive, and the gym bubbled with excitement from both crowds. The game began with a tight first set. Lake Mills got out to a 17-13 lead over the Indians, but Forest City went on a seven-point run to take a 20-17 lead.
Forest City came within one point of a set victory, at 24-22, but Lake Mills tied it at 25-25, eventually taking a 28-26 victory. In set two, Lake Mills won handily, by a 25-11 score.
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In the final set, the Bulldogs had a 24-17 lead, poised for match point. The Indians went on run, pulling within one point at 24-23. But Lake Mills got the deciding point, and the team and student section rushed the court to celebrate.
"We hit a lot stronger than normally do," senior Megan Groe said. "Sometimes we play a little more scared and roll more balls. I think we had really good defense. We got to more balls than we normally get to, and we played really well together."
The Bulldogs will play again next Tuesday, in a tournament at Nashua-Plainfield. With a conference championship in their pocket, Boehmer said the next goal is to get to 30 wins.
"We want to get to 30," Boehmer said. "We have 22 wins now, and nine more matches. We've got some work to do, because we've got some great teams on our schedule. If we don't get it regular season, we've got to try to get it in the postseason."