Sports

Liebel ties school record kills as Lakewood defeats Granite Falls

LAKEWOOD — It wasn't always a pretty game, but the Lakewood volleyball team showed they have skills to be reckoned with after pulling off come-from-behind wins to defeat Granite Falls in five games Sept. 16.

After losing the first game 19-25, the Cougars came back to win three of the next four games 25-20, 18-25, 26-24, 15-12 to come away with the victory against a conference opponent. In the final game, a race to 15 points, Lakewood trailed 7-1 before tying up at 10 to go on to the win.

That comeback was nothing compared to one the girls assembled at the Squalicum tournament a few days earlier though. After trailing 17-4, Lakewood tied up 23-23 in a critical game four.

"We can play better than that. We played tentative," said Lakewood coach Tasha Kryger of a game that also included a number of serving errors, hitting errors and crossed communications on the court. "Throughout the game we had flashes of brilliance and played where I knew we could play."

That included the red-hot play of junior outside hitter Hayley Liebel, who started landing some unstoppable hits in game three, en route to 21 kills, tying the school record.

Although Lakewood lost game three to Granite Falls, setter Samantha Adams kept feeding the ball to Liebel in game four, who helped ignite the team through a closely fought game in which neither team led by more than three points at any given time. After trailing 24-23, Lakewood scored three in a row and Liebel had a kill for the game point.

But while Liebel's numerous kills will go into the school records, the game included outstanding clutch performances from more than one girl on the floor. Adams had 39 assists and 10 digs, while sophomore middle hitter Brittany Parmentier had five block assists and 11 kills including a dump over the net for the game point in game five. Fellow sophomore hitter Kaylee Diggs added 11 kills of her own. Junior hitter Jordan Wessell led the team in defensive statistics with 12 digs.

"Their mental toughness improved and got them over the wall they kept putting themselves behind," Kryger said. "The girls all get along so well that when they make mistakes, they feel like they're letting the team down. We decided we win as a team and lose as a team."

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