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Home » Boys' Volleyball News

No. 5 Bronchos claim regional title

May 20, 2012
Lafayette Jefferson High School



The Lafayette Jeff boys volleyball team earned a trip to the state finals next week with a three-game victory over Southport on Saturday at Dennis Blind Gymnasium.

The victory puts the fifth-ranked Bronchos (14-11) into the state quarterfinals against No. 4 Zionsville (22-4) at Cathedral High School next Saturday.

Jeff pounded Southport 25-20, 25-13, 25-13 with strong hitting throughout the match from seniors David Steckler, Mike Woods and Jeffrey Reed, who combined for 36 kills.

“This is one of the better games we’ve had this season,” Woods said. “It was a challenge, but we did all right. We were talking well as a team and that helped a lot.”

Southport was a surprise winner against No. 10 Noblesville in the semifinal, 25-21, 13-25, 25-21, 15-25, 15-10.

It took a while for Jeff to find its footing against Southport as the Cardinals scored the first four points in the first game and led 11-8.

“We were shocked Southport actually won,” said senior Chase Arihood. “We watched film on Noblesville and practiced for them all week. We beat Southport earlier in the year and we knew we could again but they came out tough.”

The Bronchos went on an 11-2 run to take control. A Woods kill made the score 19-13 as Jeff cruised the rest of the way.

“After the initial nervousness, I thought we really played well,” said Jeff coach Gail Gripe. “I thought they showed some things that we worked on in practice this week. It’s really an accomplishment for them to get back to state.”

That would be the only game Jeff would trail and the Bronchos proved to be the aggressors in the final two games.

Jeff scored the first three points in the second game but found itself knotted with the Cardinals 6-all before kills by Steckler and Arihood sparked a 9-2 run that lifted the Bronchos to a 15-8 advantage.

“We have seven seniors on the team, so we were fighting pretty hard to get into the state tournament,” said Steckler, who led his team with 17 kills, followed by Woods’ 12 and Reed’s seven. “Our main thing was getting together after every point and clearing our minds about our mistakes. I think all together we hit good, served good and passed good.”

In the third game, the Bronchos scored nine of the first 10 points and looked poised to make quick work of the Cardinals. Southport fought back, trimming Jeff’s lead to 14-10.

“We were getting a little relaxed and sloppy out there,” Gripe said she told her team during a timeout. “We wanted to remind them about hitting angles and hitting high while going back to the stuff we worked on in practice. That kind of steadied them out.”

Jeff finished the game on an 11-3 rally to capture the regional title. Southport coach Brock Chipman said he didn’t want to blame his team’s performance on the earlier contest against Noblesville.

“We were tired out and fought competitively against Noblesville, but I’m not going to take that away from Lafayette Jeff,” Chipman said. “They came out and they beat us. I’m not blaming it on how tired we were. They’ve got a good team and they can beat Zionsville.”

Zionsville beat Jeff 3-2 and 3-1 earlier this season, but Gripe’s team is hoping for a different result next week.

“It’s going to take a lot of practice and hard work to beat Zionsville,” Woods said. “We still have to talk and work together as a team to win.”


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