CENTRAL CITY — There was a time when Lance Kamaus couldn’t wait for Alexa Moothart to leave.
This season, he couldn’t wait to get her back.
Saddled with a bruised knee for much of the past month, Moothart was smack-dab in the middle of an extremely balanced attack, and Lisbon made short work of Don Bosco, 25-13, 26-24, 25-19, in a Class 1A regional semifinal volleyball match Friday night at Central City High School.
“Our setters like to mix it up,” Moothart said. “All of our front-row hitters can lay it down. It’s great to watch.”
Now comes the tricky part. The Lions (24-11) advance to face No. 3 Tripoli (34-5) in a regional final at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Manchester.
The four-time defending state-champion Panthers swept Lansing Kee on Friday.
Once a volleyball doormat, Lisbon has reached the regional finals for the second time in three seasons. This year’s team did it despite losing nine of 15 players from 2011 to graduation.
“We had a lot of doubters,” Moothart said. “They didn’t think we’d make it very far, that we were really going to struggle. We’ve had a lot to prove.”
Moothart has come a long way in four years.
“I’ll be honest, when she came to open gym before her freshman year, I couldn’t wait for her to leave. She just couldn’t focus,” said Kamaus, the Lions’ head coach. “Then, as her freshman year went along, it started to click for her.
“Now, she’s a captain and a leader.”
Moothart was all-conference as a sophomore and as a junior, but missed about half of her senior season to injury.
“I jumped, and I landed on my leg when it was flexed (Sept. 27),” Moothart said. “The muscle went back behind my knee.”
She’s back now, as is Paige Felderman — who missed some time recently with mononucleosis.
Addison Heiken led the Lions with nine kills. Moothart added eight, Danielle Heiken seven, Felderman six.
Balance, balance, balance.
Lisbon steamrolled through the first game, then the second set was tight. At 24-all, Don Bosco (16-12) was called for a net violation. Then Addison Heiken closed it with a kill.
The Lions scored seven straight to take a 17-12 lead in Game 3, then tacked on four in a row to make it 21-15. From there, it was a matter of time.
Emily Gasper converted all 24 of her serves (with three aces) and collected 16 assists for the winners.
Olivia Rigdon led Don Bosco with six kills.
LISBON 3, DON BOSCO 0
|Don Bosco (16-12)||13||24||19|
Serving: Lisbon 68-74 (.919), Don Bosco 54-58 (.931)
Aces: Lisbon 8 (Emily Gasper 3), Don Bosco 7 (Baylee Rhoads 3)
Kills: Lisbon 35 (Addison Heiken 9), Don Bosco 27 (Olivia Rigdon 6)
Assists: Lisbon 30 (Gasper 16), Don Bosco 26 (Abby Schaefer 23)
Blocks: Lisbon 3 (three with 1), Don Bosco 3 (three with 1)