Volleyball wins PIL, falls short in playoffs

The volleyball team huddles during the final game of the season, a 3-2 loss to Glencoe in the first round of the playoffs.

Following the Lincoln’s volleyball team’s 3-2 loss to Glencoe, which eliminated them from the 2016 Oregon state playoffs, emotions ran high. Although falling short of winning state, there was plenty to be proud of, including winning the PIL championship.

Lincoln finished 14th in state. That’s a notable contrast to the beginning of the season, when many predicted they would be one of Oregon’s worst teams.

Grace Zilbert, a sophomore and second year returning starter, said the team itself always expected to do well.

“We expected to win PIL and we did that,” said Zilbert. “We wanted to win a playoff game and we came close but it is what it is,” she said.

The team not only won PIL but also had numerous players earn individual awards. Zilbert, senior Brianna Hill and junior Libby Lazzara were all recognized as All-PIL players, along with senior Haley Schulberg, who was named All-PIL, second team. The team strung together numerous winning streaks, tearing through most of PIL with ease.

“We started the season off on a super high note and from there I could tell we had an amazing group of girls,” said Lazzara.

Lincoln opened with  at home, beating Cleveland 3-0 behind a strong surge of students supporting their team. The Cardinals then faced the full swing of PIL teams, easily winning matches by no less than 3-1. While the high point of the season was contended among the players, Stephen Stone, second year coach, spoke most highly of the playoff match against Glencoe and an away game versus Wilson.

“The peak we played this year was the fourth set against Glencoe – all aspects of the game were executed flawlessly,” said Stone.

The first challenge in PIL came during a road match with Cleveland, when the Cardinals suffered a 3-0 loss. Although they had beat Cleveland previously in the league opener, they struggled in the second match, causing many on the team to be very frustrated.  

“It sucked.  We were all bummed, but we knew we would bounce back,” said Anthea Fraser, a junior and second-year varsity player.

Following the loss, the team swept PIL, only losing a tournament game to Lake Oswego until falling to Glencoe.

Coming into the playoffs, Lincoln set itself up well for a battle into the second round.

“We worked really really hard, so that when we came into this game we were in a good spot,” said Lazzara.

After losing the first set, Lincoln bounced back with a tough second set win. The match then see-sawed again, with Glencoe taking the third set and Lincoln claiming the fourth in dominating fashion. The fifth was close with Glencoe winning by a slim margin.

It was a hard-fought game, with many emotions on both sides of the court.

¨We left it all out on the court and put everything we have learned and it was a great match,¨ said Lazzara.