Exciting, scrappy, and energetic are all words that come to mind when talking about Dark Horse and Leopard volleyball, especially when the two teams go up against each other.
In the non-conference showdown Monday, Clinton’s junior varsity held on for the all-or-nothing third game win, and Lakewood’s varsity took the set in three straight victories.
The Leopard JV came on strong in the first game of the evening, 17-25, but the young Lady Horses fought back in the second game and took a quick 6-2 lead. Some great serves by Clinton put them at match point while the Leopards were at 9 points. Then Emily Lewis came up to serve for Lakewood and the team managed to get 5 more points on the board before the Dark Horses finally scored the winning hit. The score was 25-14.
The tie-breaker was a back-breaker for the Leopards and almost a game-breaker for the Dark Horses. Clinton was up 13 points before Lakewood scored their second point. Then slowly, but surely, the Leopards clawed their way back into the game, coming from 23-12 to 24-20 before another good serve gave the Dark Horses the game and set.
Stats for Lakewood showed Emily Lewis with 9 service points; Alea Parker with 19 service points and 5 aces; Alaina Jackson with 6 service points and 3 aces; and Sydney Parker with 7 service points and 1 ace. All the stats for Clinton were unavailable, but Zoey Harris had 6 aces and Caitlin Perry had 8 service points in a row.
Clinton Head coach Jennifer Miller was pleased with the way Clinton’s junior varsity played, especially in the second game. “We started off a little shakey, but we managed to pull it together nicely. Caitlin Perry’s 8 service points in a row was obviously the turning point in the second game and helped give us the win,” she explained.
Lakewood’s head coach Sheila Davidson agreed that Clinton’s JV played a really good game. “We were in a hesitant mood. We were without two of our starters, but that’s no excuse. We didn’t execute or serve-receive well, and Clinton had some good serves. They played really well,” she said.
This was the Lakewood JV’s first loss and their record now stands at 9-1 overall. Clinton’s record is at 5-4.
In the varsity game, the Dark Horses held their own with some fine blocks and strong digs, but Lakewood’s strong servers and corner-killers proved too much for the home team. The final scores in those three matches were 19-25, 10-25, and 18-25.
“Clinton played some really scrappy defense. We had some good digs and were able to run our offense off of some good defensive digs and floor coverage,” an elated Davidson said after the game. “Our serve-receive really needs to be on for the Hobbton game tomorrow,” she added.
Coach Miller said she was glad to see her team hustling after the ball. “As a coach, I have an expectation that if the ball hits the ground, so had the girl going after it, and they did that,” she said with a smile.
All the varsity stats were not available after the game, but Coach Miller said Vivi Sarp and Tiandra Johnson each had 3 blocks and Johnson had 13 service points. The Dark Horses are now 5-6 overall.
For Lakewood, Morgan Herring had 14 kills, 20 service points, and 5 aces; Allyson Heinz, 19 assists, 13 service points, 2 aces; Teisha Rich, 5 kills, 3 blocks; Jache Servance, 4 kills, 8 service points; and Bailey Dudley, 9 service points, and 6 kills.
This brings Lakewood’s overall record to 10-0.
The Leopards host Hobbton Tuesday, beginning at 4:30. Clinton plays a home match against Topsail