Cooper Sports Network | Contributor
For the first time in three decades, the Lee College Lady Rebels took the volleyball court without longtime head coach Tracie Johnson at the helm. In an offseason change, former Lady Rebel and Assistant Coach Paige Sorge was elevated to the head coaching position in her fifth season with the team.
Opening the 2017 campaign in the Crystal Salt Lake Classic, the Lady Rebels began play against tournament host and #5 nationally ranked Salt Lake Community College at the Lifetime Activity Center. Both teams played nip and tuck throughout the opening set with Lee right there at the end, but Lee could not come up with the big plays they needed to upset the Lady Bruins. SLCC closed with a big finishing kick to take the first set 25-21. Pacing the Lee offense in her first match at the college, Miriam Stingl of Vienna, Austria, had several big offensive winners to keep Lee in the set.
Salt Lake came out with a huge opening salvo in the second set to put the Lady Rebels on their heels. Led by the two-headed monster offensively for the Lady Bruins, Megan Treanor and Aubrie Steiner dominated the smaller Lee College front line in route to a convincing 25-15 second set win.
Looking to give the home crowd a dominant season opening win, the Lady Bruins survived an early 4-4 tie and proceeded on an 8-0 run to effectively end the match. Controlling the net on both sides of the ball, SLCC’s huge front line put up a stifling defensive wall that thwarted the Lady Rebels thoughout the match en route to the lopsided final set result of 25-11.
Bright spots for Lee College included newcomers Emalee Lowe from Midlothian High School and Taylor Simms of Brazoswood playing well defensively at times throughout the match. Deyaneira Salgado of Carolina, Puerto Rico showed flashes on both sides also.
Stingl led Lee with 8 kills, while sophomore Ruth Ard of North Shore and freshman Brooke Davidson of Clear Springs added three kills each. Lowe led the Lady Rebels with 27 digs, while Salgado and Simms added seven assists each.
Lee will continue pool play Friday against Western Wyoming and Snow College, then close out play in Utah Saturday against Casper College. You can catch all the live and archived action of Lee College Volleyball throughout the 2017 season on Cooper Sports Network.
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