COLUMBUS — Maddie Hogeland stood behind the service line and wiped the tears from her eyes.
The Lakeview senior tore her ACL during summer volleyball after coming down awkwardly from an attack.
On Tuesday — during a senior night sweep of Schuyler — Hogeland made her return to the court, even if it was just to serve.
That was enough for her. Two months ago, Hogeland didn’t think she’d get to see the court at all during her senior season.
“I’m so thankful for everything — for the team and the crowd for cheering for me,” Hogeland said. “It meant a lot.”
She had been begging Mike Sloup, Lakeview’s athletic trainer, to let her do something on the court. She finally got the chance to serve, but Sloup made it clear she better not step past the service line and try to play.
Hogeland admits she wanted to, but fought the temptation.
“I tamed myself and I controlled the urge,” she said.
The outside hitter and defensive specialist, still wearing a bulky knee brace, served the ball four times and calmly put all four in play.
“Honestly, I’m glad I put them in,” Hogeland said. “It’s been a while since I served.”
Those types of moments are what senior night is all about for K.C. Belitz, who started six seniors in the match.
“It’s clearly a special moment when you have a senior like that who gave her heart and soul for three years, and even after it happened she gave her heart and soul for the program,” the Lakeview head coach said of Hogeland.
Seniors Megan Morton and Jessica Kapels both started for the first time this season and helped Lakeview to a 25-18 win in the first set.
“That’s a tradition we’ve established over the years,” Belitz said. “The seniors are going to start and they’re going to play. I thought they came out in the first set and played pretty doggone well.”
Kapels, an outside hitter, finished the match with three kills on .286 hitting and two aces. Morton, a defensive specialist, had five digs.
The Vikings cruised to a 25-14 win in the second set, but found themselves down 17-10 in Set 3. Wanting to end the match with a sweep, Belitz went to a normal rotation.
Behind Abby Kapels and Brooklyn Wilke, Lakeview stormed back for a 25-23 set win to finish the sweep.
Abby Kapels, a junior, had nine kills on .444 hitting and two aces while Wilke recorded a team-high 16 kills and hit .382.
“We kept our composure and made plays down the stretch,” Belitz said. “We didn’t do anything unusual, we let the game come to us.”
The victory was the final tune-up before the C1-6 subdistrict tournament. The five-team tournament at Columbus High School features Class C-1, No. 1 North Bend, which suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday, as well as Scotus Central Catholic, Aquinas and David City.
Belitz knows it’ll be tough to advance to the district final for a second straight year.
“When you get to the postseason, you can’t take anything for granted. There’s no easy ones,” he said. “We hope that the experience of having done that last year is something the girls remember and want to do again.”
The subdistrict tournament begins Monday.