NEW KNOXVILLE — The Lincolnview volleyball team now has 19 wins, but it’s a safe bet that none have been as exciting as the Lancers’ wild, noisy 14-25, 18-25, 25-21, 26-24, 15-12 win over New Knoxville Monday night.

Lincolnview is now 19-2 overall, New Knoxville 14-6. The Rangers are ranked 9th in the latest Division 4 coaches poll. They are 4-3 and sitting in the middle of the Midwest Athletic Conference. The Lancers are 7-0 and leading the Northwest Conference. They will host Ada (9-11, 2-5) Tuesday night; a win will get Lincolnview sole ownership of the NWC championship.

The Lancers and the Rangers were evenly matched, although it didn’t seem so in the first set which was won decisively by New Knoxville 25-14. From there on, however, it was a wild and woolly affair with many great plays, particularly by the two defenses, and a slew of ties and lead changes.

In the deciding fifth set, the Rangers spurted to a 5-2 lead, but three straight kills by Lancer junior Madison Williams created a 5-5 tie. A stuff block by freshman McKayla Blankemeyer gave Lincolnview a 10-6 lead, but the home team battled back to tie it at 12-12 on consecutive kills by junior Morgan Leffel and sophomore Carsyn Henschen. Lancer sophomore Kendall Bollenbacher got the lead back on a kill, and two straight errant Ranger spike attempts ended the match 15-12.

Set 2 was a good one until near the end. There was one early lead change, and there were five ties, the last one at 12-12. New Knoxville then started to inch away although never by much. The Lancers were still very much in it at 21-18, but two kills by Henschen and two Lincolnview errors gave the Rangers a 25-18 win.

Down two sets to none, the visitors raised their game considerably in Set 3, which was a barnburner from start to finish with 12 ties and five lead changes. The last tie was at 18-18, whereupon the Rangers committed their tenth (and last) service error of the match. Two straight blocks by Lancer sophomore Kendall Klausing upped the lead to 21-18, and Lincolnview held on for a 25-21 win capped off by an ace from senior libero Lana Carey.

Set 4 was even better. There were nine ties and eight lead changes. The spread never got bigger than four points. There were ties at 21, 22, 23, and 24. The Rangers had match point at 24-23, but Williams blasted a kill down the middle to tie it, and two straight New Knoxville spikes went awry to give Lincolnview a 26-24 set.

Both teams played impressive all-around volleyball. If there was a key difference, it was defense at the net where most Ranger kill attempts were blocked or at least touched by the Lancer front row players. There was also a big difference in serving. New Knoxville had ten service errors, although none in the last two sets. Lincolnview had only four service errors, and had several successful serves that grazed the net, two that hit the top and barely trickled over for aces.

Lincolnview’s stat leaders were Bollenbacher (10 kills, 24 digs, 27 receptions, 13 of 14 serving with 1 ace), Williams (16 kills, 15 digs, 32 receptions, 14 of 15 serving with 1 ace), senior Kerstin Davis (14 digs, 17 receptions, 20 of 22 serving with 3 aces), Carey (19 digs, 17 receptions, 14 of 14 serving), junior setter Brianna Ebel (33 assists, 10 digs, 18 of 19 serving), Klausing (8 kills), and Blankemeyer (3 scoring blocks).

New Knoxville won the junior varsity match 25-13, 25-18. The Lancer JV’s are now 16-5.