By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — It was Pink Out night in Lakin as the Lady Broncs volleyball team hosted the final matches of the regular season.
And they added a touch of gold to the festivities as they took home the title of unbeaten regular season Hi-Plains League champions.
Lakin went 3-0, sweeping the league matches for the season with a final match win over Southwestern Heights, which struggled in its two earlier wins.
Both teams entered the final showdown at 7-0 in league matches, but Lakin used strong serving and solid defense to put away the Lady Mustangs 25-16, 25-15 to finish perfect. A good way to head into the post-season for the Lady Broncs.
Lakin (21-8, 8-0) called this senior recognition night "Broncs Spikin' Cancer" for breast cancer awareness, but they did a lot of spiking on the court, as well.
After dispensing of Sublette (25-17, 25-16) and Stanton County (25-12, 25-17), Lakin had to wait for a Heights team that had to go three sets to beat Sublette. The Lady Broncs made sure to give a raucous student section something to yell about.
Lakin's more athletic, quicker lineup held Heights (14-14, 7-1) to just six points on serve in the opening set.
Set two started off a little dicey as the Mustangs had things tied at 7 before Lakin's Kara Simmons served for five straight points and a 12-7 lead.
Heights served to get to within three at 16-13, but Darrie Rogers and Maja Haney served Lakin to the win.
It was a team effort coach Steve Davidson called, "pretty solid."
"I thought we played pretty well. We had a few mistakes here and there, but they did a pretty good job," he said.
It's been four years since Lakin has won the regular-season title and eight since taking the league tournament.
With one goal down, the second comes Saturday at the league tournament. Then it's sub-state time on Oct. 20.
Davidson said he hopes the effort from his team continues.
"We came out really focused, especially on senior night," he said. "I hope we can keep getting better the next several weeks."
Stanton County coach Jill Scott has made some changes on her squad recently, and her girls are learning to adapt.
"We're re-meshing right now," she said. "We're in a good place if they'll show up and play the way I know they can."
With four freshman and four seniors on her post-season team, Scott knows the Lady Trojans have their work cut out for them, but it's what they've preached all season long.
"We can play competitively with any team in the league," she said. "I'm asking them to come out and play and give it everything they can."
Sublette coach Shandi Lopez has taken a young team in the right direction heading into the post-season.
"We've improved on the year, and that's been our major goal," she said. "Going into the season knowing we were young (with one senior and one junior on varsity), you know you're going to get thumped on a little bit. But we've grown, we're improving, we're hanging in there. We'll surprise some people."
Lopez said. "We're not done yet."
With a lack of height, the Lady Larks used to be leery of blocking earlier in the season, Lopez said, but that's changed, as witnessed by taking both Heights and Stanton County to three sets.
Staying competitive going into the league and sub-state tournaments remains her team's goal, she said.