There’s no mistaking the fact now, some four years later, that it’s a huge weapon in the all-around arsenal on the volleyball court for the Warsaw star.
The Tigers, led by the big jump serve of Lacheta, aced their second Northern Lakes Conference test of the season Thursday night in impressive fashion at Goshen.
Warsaw served up a 25-5, 25-12, 25-21 league win over the host Redskins thanks mainly to the big right arm of Lacheta from behind the service line.Lacheta, who set a school record with 19 aces in a 3-1 home win over Whitko Tuesday night, blasted 16 Thursday. The senior outside hitter set the tone by serving Warsaw to a 17-0 lead to start the opening game with 10 aces in the incredible run.
“I jump served by mistake in practice one day in eighth grade and the coach told me to keep doing it,” explained Lacheta. “I’ve been a top spin jump server ever since then. It is a weapon. It gives me an adrenalin pump for sure when I serve an ace. I hope it pumps up my team too. I want to take the energy I have and give it to my team. I just found out today that I set the record Tuesday. I was real excited. It’s pretty cool.”
Warsaw, now 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the NLC, made sure to take care of business Thursday versus a smaller and less experienced Redskin team. The Tigers were coming off a huge week last week in which they won 3-2 at Class 3-A power Mishawaka Marian and then posted a 3-2 NLC win at Elkhart Memorial to snap the Chargers’ 76-match NLC win streak dating back to 2001. Warsaw won the final two sets of each of those matches to come out victorious.
“We had a great week last week and coming in tonight we wanted to keep the intensity up and not let down,” Lacheta said. “Winning the NLC is the goal we have to look at. We’ve got a big target on us now. We can’t underestimate anyone in the NLC. We have to play up to our level every match to win that championship we all want.”
Goshen, now 4-9 overall and 0-1 in the NLC, competed much better in games two and three. The hosts made a nice run late in the final game of the match, which took just under an hour to play, as Warsaw coach Mike Howard made wholesale substitutions.
The Redskins have just five letter winners back from a team that was 11-19 overall and 0-7 in the NLC in the 2011. Warsaw, on the other hand, returns All-NLC selections Lacheta, setter Chloe Hubner, libero Alex Sanchez and outside hitter Emily Poe from last year’s squad that finished 25-7 overall and 6-1 in league play.“This was a mindset match for us tonight,” said coach Howard. “We talked about it being a conference match and about wanting to stay consistent and play at a high level. I think you saw that in games one and two. We were ready to play at the start and stayed about as focused as I could expect.
“Jamie has the green light to use the jump serve. It gets on you faster than you think. And she’s starting to locate it better, kind of like a pitcher.”
Lacheta, one of five seniors for the Tigers, also skied for a team-high 11 kills Thursday night. Junior Emily Poe had a strong match with eight kills and 11 digs. Senior Sam Jensen had five kills and three blocks, while sophomore Katie Voelz also had five kills and three blocks. Junior Delaney Goble had four aces and 11 digs, senior libero Alex Sanchez 16 digs and senior setter Chloe Hubner 27 assists.
The Warsaw JV team, coached by former WCHS star athlete Chandra Hopkins (now Chandra Hepler), defeated Goshen 25-10, 25-16.
Warsaw hosts its own invitational Saturday starting at 10 a.m. Goshen hosts Elkhart Central Tuesday.