Menomonee Falls' 6-1 junior middle hitter Simone Lee has won volleyball titles with US national teams and she has announced her intent to attend powerhouse and multi-time national champion Penn State.
But she also just loves doing what she did it at the end of the Indians' gritty 22-25, 25-9, 25-12, 25-23 Greater Metro Conference opening win over a solid Brookfield East squad Tuesday night.
And that's taking a perfect set from fellow junior Abby Becker, and slamming a perfect match winner down the leftside against an overmatched defense.
"That set by Abby was perfect," laughed Lee. "We never skip a beat with her anywhere on the court."
Though there were a few hiccups along the way, including a sleepy start that veteran coach J. C. Bruns didn't appreciate.
"It sort of ticked me off," he said, "because last year, they gave us a real tough five-game match at the start of the conference season and I tried to emphasize to them that we didn't want them to get too comfortable."
And though that first game the Spartans were a little too comfortable, they were never that way again. The Indians caught them in a bad rotation in the second game and ran off 15 consecutive points during one stretch en route to an easy win, and were never seriously challenged in the third game.
But the fourth game was a different matter. East, which was coming off a title in the 23-school UW-Whitewater Tournament on Saturday, scored the first three points in a set that would eventually have eight ties.
The last deadlock came at the end of a 3-0 run by the Spartans that made it 22-all, but after a Falls time-out, the Indians went to Lee again and she hammered home a winner to put Falls up for good.
Sarah Held notched a tip kill to make it 24-22, and after the Spartans narrowed it to 24-23 on a Falls' hitting error, Lee thumped home her match-winner.
"I accept the fact (that I'm going to be called on a lot)," she said. "It happened with my club team too. It's something I work off of. I'm used to having pressure on me and I like being given the chance to rise to the occasion."
Which Bruns' and the Indians are happy to ask her to do as often as possible.
"We simply have to get her the ball," he said. "When we do, she's just about unstoppable."
And Bruns would like the Indians, who recorded a strong fifth-place finish in the Homestead/St. Thomas More Joust on Saturday, to be a little more consistent and a little more unstoppable.
"When we're in system, we're just fine, but when we pass badly, it isn't very pretty," he said. "We just can't get caught looking past people."
Lee, who says that life playing volleyball is a lot more fun right now that she has made her college choice, said the Indians will find a way.
"We're feeling good," she said. "We know that we have a lot of things to work on. We just have to make sure we work ahead and try to avoid some of the adversity that we've been facing."
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