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Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran sends their volleyball team to WIAA state for the first time after a dominant season

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 9:00 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The current head volleyball coach of the Lancers, Joe Lau, was a senior at Immanuel the last time the volleyball team took a trip to WISAA state in 1984. Now, this group of girls is making school history by being the first team to qualify for the WIAA state tourney years later.

It’s a year of many firsts. For Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran, it’s the volleyball team’s first year qualifying for the WIAA state tournament. However, it was also their first year not being able to play in their own gym, and like many others, their first time playing during a global pandemic.

“With every hardship in life, God often provides a silver lining,” said Lau with tears in his eyes.

He also says that it’s been a really good year for his girls, despite the obstacles. To be exact on just how good, this team did not drop a single set during the entire regular season.

“First part of the year I really didn’t say anything about it but then I started to get the feeling that they were trying to win every set and the farther it went they got more excited about being able to do that.”

Finally in the sectional finals, Blackhawk took them to five sets. It was a new feeling that the girls say was needed.

“The two sets we lost we were just in our heads because we weren’t used to losing,” said Emma Miller, senior defensive specialist.

“I think it was good because we learned how to get out of a slump,” said senior middle Lydia Kettner.

That is just another tool the lancers will have as they prepare to take on tough competition on a big stage. Coach Lau believes a few teams in the past have been close, but this year’s group plays for one another.

“it’s the most positive team I’ve ever played on. we never let a person get down and we never blame anyone for a mistake,” said Kettner.

“We can trust each other that if someone makes a mistake someone will pick us up,” Miller said.

With the three seed in division four, the Lancers take on Catholic Central Saturday for a shot at playing in the championship game.

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