By Chet Piotrowski

Lake Land volleyball split a multiteam doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The Lakers defeated Frontier Community College in the morning in three sets, 25-19 , 26-24, and 29-27, then dropped the afternoon tilt to Lincoln Land Community College in three sets 29-27, 25-13, and 25-16.

“For returning on Wednesday with only eight healthy players, I can’t be mad,” Lake Land head coach Ashli Wicker said. “We have to show up to play. I can’t be disappointed in their effort. Just trying to get anybody and everybody reps. From here on out, we’re going to start playing multiple days and not have time to adjust.”

Wicker said the biggest issue was missing four key players – OPP/OH Erica Michels, MB Ashlyn Jones, DS Madison Watret, and Kelsi Geltz and having to get her squad up to pace with just three days of practice.

“Things were working a bit more for us,” Wicker said of the first match against Frontier. “Moving parts were working better for my girls that were playing different positions and were easier to adjust, versus a team where we’re trying to get to with a healthy roster. (We) just came out stronger in the morning.”

Being shorthanded hurt her squad against Lincoln Land.

“It was just first team facing,” she said. “We played them (Lincoln Land) in a scrimmage with everyone healthy and played them really well. Just not used to having a block back against us. Thats how we want to play. That’s what we want to face…to get better.”

She said its going to be tough moving forward.

Its going to be a battle the entire year,” Wicker said. “I mean COVID isn’t going away so we’re going to have to adjust on the fly and having moving parts on the fly and make it function.”

Wicker said having versatile players is more beneficial to her team’s success over an extended period of play.

“I would say overal because of the long season we have, just not with COVID, but we face injury with tired shoulders or shin splints,” she said. “All those things where we’re comfortable being able to move those people to different positions on being more versatile and flexible rather than saying ‘Oh, I only play setter. That doesn’t help us in the long run.”