The Leopards raced past the Spartans to get to the second round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament Monday, winning the match in three sets; 25-8, 25-14, 25-10.
Lakewood and Pender are conference regular season co-champs, but Lakewood won the coin toss, giving them the No. 1 spot in the county tournament. The team’s seeding in the state tournament depends on where they finish in the tournament.
The Leopards made quick work of the Spartans in all three games, jumping ahead early and taking advantage of mistakes made by the young Union team. In the second game, Lakewood was at set point, but junior Erica West kept Union’s hopes alive for six straight serves before Morgan Herring finally ended the game with a kill shot from the corner.
Leopard senior Bailey Dudley had a fantastic game with 9 aces from her 19 service points. She also knocked down 8 kill shots and 2 blocks. Morgan Herring fired down 11 kill shots and 8 service points; Teisha Rich, 7 kills, and 7 service points; Jache’ Servance, 3 kills, 7 service points; Allyson Heinz, 7 service points, and she set up 24 assists for the kill shots. Katie Stewart punched out 6 aces from her 11 service points; Sydney Febres got in 4 service points; and Anna Heinz got 5 service points.
Lakewood head coach Sheila Davidson was pleased with the way her Leopards played. “I hope we can keep the momentum going in all areas. We had a great serve-receive, great serving and placement of serves. I was actually calling the placement and they were hitting those spots with their serves. That’s what we want to do so we can advance in the state playoffs,” she explained, looking ahead to Saturday, which is the first round of the state playoffs.
Union’s head coach, Dana Strickland, was disappointed in the way her Spartans ended the season.
“I hate Monday games and I hate that we finished this way. This team is better than how they played tonight. We’ve been improving, so there’s really no excuse for how we played. Lakewood is just a really, really, good team. Sheila (Davidson) is a very dedicated coach and I hope they go as far as possible,” she said.
Union did not compile stats for the match.
The semi-final and final games will be played at Union Tuesday aternoon and Wednesday. Lakewood will go up against Midway in the 6:30 game today.