Wednesday, October 05, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> LHS ladies earn sweep against ECS

Special to The Leader

Episcopal Collegiate Studies Lady Wildcat volleyball team visited the Gina Cox Center in Lonoke Thursday to face the Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits. Lonoke continued it’s unbeaten 4A-Central record, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-18, 25-13, and 25-16. The Lady Rabbits started a bit slowly in set one, but settled in and took charge of the set and match.

“I feel like we played fairly sluggish in all three sets,” said Lonoke coach Laura Park. “It did take us a while to get started. Some of the teams that we’ve played recently are not very aggressive and high level playing, so the girls sometimes just tend to play to their competition. I’ve tried to reiterate over and over that you’ve got to bring your game no matter what, because when you play against better teams, they’re going to bring it. You’ve got to start on top and stay on top. We were fortunate we were able to dig out of the hole.

The girls kind of started off sluggish, but were able to rally.”
The start of the first set featured unforced errors by both teams with the exception of a back-row kill by Lonoke senior Madison McFadden, and a kill by Charlotte Powers for the Lady Wildcats.

A kill by Kayla Shelton gave the Lady Rabbits a 6-4 lead, but Episcopal tied the set at 8-8, and then took an 11-8 lead on the serve of Sarah Reddick. The Lady Rabbits got the ball back on a kill by Keiunna Walker that started a ten point scoring run on the serve of Maddie Pool. Kennedy White had a kill and block on the run, and Kaley Woodruff had a tip that found the floor for a kill as the lead grew to 19-12.

On Pool’s serve, Coach Park had this to say, “She’s probably the best consistent server. I’ve got several girls that can place it, but it seems like when we’re in that rotation, we have a good combination. With her serving, and then everyone else kind of rallying around that, in that rotation, we usually do pretty good.

Two more blocks by White and two service errors by the Lady Wildcats aided Lonoke in taking the first set 25-18.

Kills by Caroline Burns and Micaylah Thomas helped Episcopal to a 5-1 second set advantage before, again on Pool’s service, the Lady Rabbits tied the set at 5-5. Then, on Walker’s serve, Woodruff had a kill on an overpass, Walker served two aces, and White had another block to give the home team the 13-6 lead. The lead extended to 18-7 on a service ace by Gracie Mason.

Walker had two kills from the back row, Pool had two kills in the middle, and Walker scored set point on a kill as she flew through the air to save the ball. The set score was 25-13.

It was Lonoke that took a 13-5 set three lead. Then Pool found the back corner on a push, Walker added three more kills then another service ace down the line on her serve for a 19-11 lead after the Lady Wildcats had cut the lead to 11-16.

Consecutive hitting errors and service errors hurt Episcopal as the set concluded with the ball being hit into the net by a Lady Wildcat to give Lonoke the 25-16 third set victory.

Since that win on Thursday, Lonoke won four matches for first place in a tournament at Fountain Lake Saturday, but lost its first conference match at home on Monday. On Tuesday they got back to their winning ways with a three-set sweep of Helena-West Helena Central.

Lonoke beat Texarkana, Booneville twice and the host school to earn top honors at Fountain Lake. On Monday, the Lady Jackrabbits lost 3-2 to Central Arkansas Christian, a team they had beaten twice earlier in the year.

Lonoke (23-3, 10-1) takes on another Helena school on Thursday when it faces KIPP Delta for Senior Night.