Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee – the 1982 Class A State Championship Girls Volleyball Team
The Lutheran High School volleyball team, under the leadership of head coach Liz Spletzer and assistant coaches Bill Kammerlohr and Kara Dubbe, became the first team in the history of the school to win a state championship, capturing the Minnesota State Class A title in two sets over Becker, 18-14 and 18-12.
Although they only returned one starter from the previous year’s team, which had advanced to the region tournament, the 1982 team set high goals for themselves. They wanted to go undefeated in their conference, win the district tournament and advance to regional competition, and – if possible – go to state, all goals they achieved. Coach Spletzer suggested the team motto be “Think Like Seniors,” meaning they should play as if it was their last year of volleyball at LHS.
Not only were they a cohesive group who “played like seniors” on the court, this team had a bond of Christian love and friendship that was evident elsewhere, including their preparation for games with prayer, singing and reading a devotion.
The 1982 team had a record of 24 wins and 3 losses, and defeated unbeaten Spring Valley and defending champion Moose Lake at the state tournament to reach the title game against Becker. Their biggest challenge may have been in the Region Tournament against a tough Henderson squad, where they staged an amazing comeback in the third set, after being down 11-17, to win the match with scores of 18-10, 22-24, and 23-21.
The Crusaders not only captured the state championship that year, they also won the Sportsmanship Trophy, which was given to the school with the best overall sportsmanship shown by the team, cheerleaders, band, and fans.
All-Conference selections on the 1982 team were Lori Boettcher, Bonnie Fasching, and Teresa Lenzen. Connie Balzum was named All-Conference Honorable Mention.
Team members were Connie Balzum, Missy Bartels, Lori Boettcher, Amy Dorn, Bonnie Fasching, Diane Fasching, Janette Kitzmann, Teresa Lenzen, Stephanie Litfin, Ann Matthias, and Nancy Wolter. Student managers were Joni Gibson and Jenny Plagge. Statisticians were Michelle Gilster, Kim Kannenberg, Darlene Tober, and Rebecca Wiegert. Head coach was Liz Spletzer, and assistant coaches were Bill Kammerlohr and Kara Dubbe.