Posted On: 10/7/15 6:10 AM

Interview with Papillion-LaVista’s junior Creighton recruit Steph Gaston

Interview with Papillion-LaVista coach Kristen Lebeda-Svehla

 

WATCH THE FIFTH SET BY CLICKING HERE

 

PAPILLION – There was cause for celebration and concern for the Papillion-LaVista volleyball team Tuesday night.

On an evening when the Class A #3 Monarchs survived an epic battle with #4 Papillion-LaVista South by a score of 25-22, 12-25, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13, Papillion-LaVista’s joy was somewhat subdued because it lost senior all-stater Katie Stephens in the process.

Stephens, a Wayne State recruit, is one of the most feared outside hitters in the state and came into the match with 172 kills on the season and has 1,000 kills and digs in her career. After leading her team with six kills and 6 digs during a 25-22 first-set win, Stephens put the Monarchs up 1-0 in the second set with a signature pounding of the ball from the outside, but she crumpled at the net after landing. After a few moments, Stephens was able to walk to the bench under her own power and appeared to walk off her injury at the end of the bench early in the second set.

Stephens returned to the match after the Titans had gone ahead 8-4, but immediately had to leave again – this time with help – and went straight to the locker room. Her exit from the court clearly knocked the wind out of the Monarchs as Papillion-LaVista South cruised the rest of the second set and won 25-12.

Stephens returned to the Monarch bench in the third set with crutches and her left knee wrapped in ice. Following the match, indications were that Stephens likely suffered a knee ligament injury. Which ligament or ligaments and the severity of it obviously won’t be known until further tests and exams take place.

Papillion-LaVista, which improved to 20-4 with the win, was able to recover from the second-set loss well and had the third set tied at 22-22 before three straight Monarch errors gave the Titans a 25-22 win in the set and a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, it was Papillion-LaVista South’s turn to show some moxie as the Monarchs got out to a 17-10 lead before the Titans mounted a huge rally. A back-row kill from Taliyah Flores put Papillion-LaVista South on top 22-21 and the Titans had a  match point at 24-23 after the Monarchs were called for a net violation.

Papillion-LaVista’s 6-foot-5 junior Creighton recruit Steph Gaston, however, pounded a kill to even the score at 24-24. It was then the Titans which fought off two set points – one on a kill by Flores and another on a block by Peyton Schendt which tied the score at 26-26. It was two straight Titan errors, however, that gave the Monarchs the 28-26 fourth-set win and set the stage for a dramatic fifth set.

The fifth set actually didn’t look like it would have any drama early as Papillion-LaVista extended an 8-6 lead to 13-6 before a dump kill from Titan setter Taylor Crandall stopped the Monarch run. Papillion-LaVista would get to match point at 14-9 but could not close out the Titans got a kill from Flores and a Monarch hitting error to get within 14-11.

On the next exchange, USC libero recruit Raegan LeGrand came up with a sprawling pancake to keep a ball alive that wound up become a kill by Sidney Pecha to get Papillion-LaVista South within 14-12 and forced the Monarchs to take a timeout. Another kill by Flores – who finished with a match-high 22 on the night – made it 14-13, but the ensuing Titan serve floated just long, giving the Monarchs the victory.

Papillion-LaVista def. Papillion-LaVista South 25-22, 12-25, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13

Papillion-LaVista (20-4) Ranked #3 in Class A

Steph Gaston – 18 kills, 0 aces, 2 1/2 blocks, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Autumn Wood – 16 kills, 2 aces, 1/2 block, 25 digs, 2 assists.
Katie Stephens – 7 kills, 1 ace, 0 blocks, 6 digs, 0 assists.
Ally Glaser – 1 kill, 0 aces, 3 1/2 blocks, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Bailey Thompson – 0 kills, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Kenzie Michalek – 0 kills, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 26 digs, 0 assists.
Elizabeth Kelley – 6 kills, 0 aces, 2 blocks, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Dani Prusha – 3 kills, 1 ace, 1 1/2 blocks, 15 digs, 52 assists.
Maddie Krajewski – 0 kills, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 14 digs, 0 assists.
Sydney Fitzgibbons – 10 kills, 1 ace, 3 blocks, 6 digs, 0 assists.

Team totals – 61 kills, 5 aces, 12 blocks, 92 digs, 54 assists.

Papillion-LaVista South (24-5) Ranked #4 in Class A

Jessica Hendrix – o kills, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Mara LeGrand – 0 kills, 3 aces, 0 blocks, 6 digs, 0 assists.
Sidney Pecha – 6 kills, 0 aces, 1/2 block, 6 digs, 0 assists.
Raegan LeGrand – 14 kills, 1 ace, 1/2 block, 21 digs, 4 assists.
Peyton Schendt – 13 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 7 digs, 1 assist.
Michaela McClellen – 0 kills, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 1 dig, 0 assists.
Cassidy Renander – 0 kills, 0 aces, 1 block, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Malory Voyles – 1 kill, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Taliyah Flores – 22 kills, 0 aces, 2 blocks, 20 digs, 1 assist.
Taylor Crandall – 3 kills, 0 aces, 1 block, 15 digs, 55 assists.
Leah Palenski – 0 kills, 0 aces, o blocks, 7 digs, 0 assists.
Sydney Morehouse – 1 kill, 0 aces, 1 block, 0 digs, 0 assists.
Katie McLaughlin – 0 kills, 0 aces, 0 blocks, 22 digs, 1 assist.

Team totals – 62 kills, 5 aces, 7 blocks, 105 digs, 62 assists.