It is deja vu all over again for the Lady Leopards as they go up against the Pender Patriots in the Tri-County Tournament Championship game Wednesday at 7 p.m at Union High School. Lakewood beat Pender last year for the tournament title.
To make it this far, Lakewood had to get past Midway, which they did Tuesday in three sets; 25-17, 25-16, 25-20.
The first game was tied at 7 before the Leopards managed to pull ahead and keep the lead throughout the game. In the second game, Lakewood got a 5-point lead at 10-5 and never looked back. The Leopards got a 7-point lead in the third game, but the Raiders managed a come-back, scoring 6 to Lakewood’s 2 points to make the score 24-20, but it was too little too late.
Raider head coach Heather Johnson is looking forward to Saturday and what they can do better to compete in the 1A state playoffs.
“We got caught standing still sometimes. We were just too relaxed when we needed to be on our toes. Lakewood played really well. We’ve just got to be ready to play Saturday,” she said about the opening of the state volleyball playoffs.
Sheila Davidson, Leopard head coach, is hoping the momentum from Monday’s win against Union and Tuesday’s win against Midway will carry over into the title match.
“I think we did a great job of keeping our momentum. (Midway) would go on a roll with 3 or 4 different servers and ace us, but we would get it right back quickly. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we’ve got to double that speed, because Pender has some huge servers,” she explained after the game.
Senior Teisha Rich had an incredible game, scoring 4 aces out of 15 service points. She also had 1 block and 9 kill shots. Morgan Herring was right there with 5 aces out of 16 service points and 6 kills. Bailey Dudley scored 14 service points and 8 kills; Jache Servance, 6 service points, 2 kills; Anna Heinz, 6 service points, 6 digs; Katie Stewart, 2 service points, 1 kill; Rashyda Parker, 8 kills and 5 blocks. Allyson Heinz had 21 assists and 10 service points.
In the 5 pm game, Pender took down James Kenan in 4 games; 25-21, 10-25, 25-11, 25-19.
Lakewood and Pender are regular season co-champs, each losing only one game and that was against each other. The Leopards lost early in the season at Pender, but beat the Patriots when they came to Leopard country last week. Whoever wins today will get the top seed in the state playoffs, which begin Saturday.