Lakewood serves up crucial win

Kaylee Diggs passes the ball to setter Samantha Adams, 18, during game 1 of the Sultan match. - Travis Sherer
Kaylee Diggs passes the ball to setter Samantha Adams, 18, during game 1 of the Sultan match.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

LAKEWOOD — The only thing stopping Cougar serves Oct. 20 was the net.

Lakewood recorded 20 aces en route to its second sweep (25-14, 25-21, 25-16) of Sultan this season.

“When the girls were putting it where they wanted, we really ran away with it,” said Lakewood coach Tasha Kryger. “And they played well tonight.”

The Cougars needed this win, as it puts them within one win from making the district tournament with just one match to play — the Oct. 27 match against Cedarcrest (4-7) deciding the Lakewood’s (3-8) fate.

But they will have nothing to worry about if their play resembles that of the Sultan match.

Lakewood came out firing in game 1 with a dominating combination of biting serves and hard hitting. Leading the way for the Cougars’ 25-14 win on the front line was outside hitter Hayley Liebel, who recorded four kills in the first 10 points.

“At one point she asked us where to hit around the blockers and we told her that she was just hitting it over them,” Kryger said of the junior, who finished with 11 kills.

Lakewood took advantage of Sultan’s communication problems and inability to handle the serves of both Allyson Lawton and Megan Eby, who combined to serve for 14 points.

The second game is where the Cougars stumbled, missing spots and committing service errors.

“I think they were trying to aim them a little too much,” Kryger said. “We missed five serves in a row and we weren’t playing to win.”

Add a couple of passing mistakes and Lakewood tailed 21-19 late in game 2 when junior libero Allie Hernandez served four aces in six points to win the game 25-21.

“That was really big for us,” Kryger said. “Allie and Jordan (Wessell) were fantastic serving tonight.”

The final game resembled the first, with Lakewood more focused and rallying behind the play of Liebel, who served a trio of aces and had six kills in the game. Had Sultan not run off eight straight points at Lakewood’s match point, the score would have been even more lopsided than 25-16.

Having an all-around match for the Cougars was junior setter Samantha Adams, who finished with 16 assists, nine digs and six kills.

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