HS Volleyball: Kelly Rausch Leads Linfield Christian to a Sweep over Banning in Round One of the CIF SS Playoffs

The Lions Face Bassett High School in CIF-SS Division 7 Round Two Play Saturday

By Stephanie LaFleur

The Linfield Lions may have hosted the first round of CIF-Southern Section playoffs last night, but the territory felt a bit foreign. Their last post season run was nine years ago. The Lions are seeded first in Division 7 and finished second in the Ambassador League this season. Regardless of their history, the number one ranked Lions went to work against the Banning Broncos.

Linfield jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, with a kill and a block by MB Alaina Tucker and a series of Banning errors. The Broncos earned a kill by tooling OH Kelly Rausch, to which she responded right back with a tool to kill.

The Lions went on to earn eight of their last nine points off kills, beginning with OH Makenzie Phelps. Tucker and setter Devin Sivertson each added one a piece, Rausch scored two, while MB Paige Williams tallied three, two of which closed the set 25-10.

The Lions kept rolling as they began set two with another 7-2 lead, including back to back kills from Tucker and RS Caylan Medley, followed by an ace from DS Sarah Newman. The Broncos would only get within four of the Lions’ lead, and dropped set two 25-16.

The third set started out a bit rough as both teams exchanged service errors. Williams and Rausch ended the streak with back to back kills to gain the lead at 6-4. Rausch pushed the pace behind the service line, with two consecutive aces, four total out of the Lions’ five point series, with a kill from Phelps in the mix to go up 15-7.

A few points later, Rausch received a tough Bronco serve, getting the ball up but nowhere near playable height. Sivertson still made a play out it, dumping it over the net for the Lions’ point, and would earn another off an ace on the ensuing play for the 19-10 lead. Banning wasn’t quite finished with a kill and an ace, but Rausch made sure they were earning the final two points off kills for the 25-16 win and 3-0 sweep.

Rausch finished with 11 kills and 8 aces. Sivertson tallied 27 assists while Williams added four blocks, and Newman finished with 10 digs.

The Lions will travel to Bassett High School on Saturday, October 20th for CIF-SS round two play. Match is set to begin at 6:00 pm.

Photos by Stephanie LaFleur