Lady Leopards fall to Midway

Madee Royal tips the ball over the net for Midway.

Daron Barefoot| Sampson Independent

Lakewood’s McKenzie Davidson gets a dig.

Daron Barefoot| Sampson Independent

The Lakewood and Midway volleyball teams squared off Monday night in non-conference action. Midway, after dropping the opening frame, reeled of three straight set wins to win the match, 3-1.

The Lady Leopards were off to a hot start in the first frame, sprinting out to a 7-2 lead to force a Midway timeout. The Lady Raiders seemed to settle down and was able to pull within 17-15 to prompt a Leopard timeout. Lakewood would go on to win the opening set 25-20 as Midway was never able to recover from their sluggish start.

The second set had a different look to it as it was Midway seizing control early, opening leads of 6-2 and 12-5 behind strong serving performances by Leah Williams and Logan Baggett. The Lady Leopards never really threatened in the second set as Midway coasted to the 25-10 second set victory, tying the game 1-1.

Midway opened the third set on a 4-0 run behind solid serving by Hannah Lucas and two kills by Alyssa Wrench. After a Lakewood timeout, the Lady Leopards were able to tie things back at 7-7 and again at 8-8 before Midway was able to widen the gap a little. Still, though, the Lady Leopards hung around, pulling back to within 17-16 before Midway finished the game on a run to take the third set, 25-18.

Midway was now ahead in the match, 2-1.

The fourth set opened up seeming as if the Lady Raiders would cruise to victory. Lakewood, however, had no plans of just giving Midway the win. Lakewood absorbed an early deficit and was able to claw their way back, tying the game at 16-16. Midway answered, scoring a couple of points to go back ahead 18-16. After a long volley back and forth, Midway won the point and increased its lead to 19-16, forcing a Lakewood timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, Midway scored the first point to push their lead to 20-16.

Lakewood didn’t quit as they were able to go on a spurt and pull within 23-22. After allowing Midway to sit on match point at 24-22, the Lady Leopards scored two consecutive points to tie the set up at 24-24. Midway scored, making it 25-24, but right back came Lakewood, forcing yet another 25-25 tie. Midway finally scored two straight points to take the set win, 27-25 to win the match 3-1.

After the game, while the coaches for both teams each agreed that their teams played hard, both teams still have areas that need addressing.

For Midway, Coach Whitney Lamb alluded to hitting and ball placement.

“I think one of our biggest problems tonight was we put a lot of balls out that obviously needed to be in,” Lamb said. “For Wednesday’s practice, hitting is an area we’re going to focus on.”

Lakewood head coach, Sheila Davidson, said that consistency and trust are areas of focus for her Lady Leopards, attributing a lot of that inexperience.

“Offensively and defensively we’re a little unpredictable. But, I honestly attribute that to how young we are and our girls just aren’t used to playing together,” she said. “We played hard, I’m not taking that away from my girls, we just didn’t play in sync.”

Coach Davidson, however, didn’t want to discredit her opponent.

“You can’t take anything away from Midway,” she iterated. “They play with fire, passion and trust.”

Statistically, Midway was led by Leah Williams with 13 serve points and 22 digs. Mackenzie Chavis had 12 serve points and 13 assists. Alyssa Wrench, Madee Royal, and Rachel Hodges were tough for Midway at the net, combining for 16 kills and 8 blocks.

Stats for Lakewood weren’t immediately available.

For Midway, the victory moves them to 4-0 overall on the young season while Lakewood drops to 3-2 overall.

Lakewood will return to action on Tuesday as they open up conference play when they host Spring Creek.

For Midway, the Lady Raiders continue non-conference action as they host South Johnston.

Madee Royal tips the ball over the net for Midway. Royal tips the ball over the net for Midway. Daron Barefoot| Sampson Independent

Lakewood’s McKenzie Davidson gets a dig.’s McKenzie Davidson gets a dig. Daron Barefoot| Sampson Independent
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