Lakewood sent James Kenan back across the county line with losses in both varsity and JV volleyball Tuesday.
The Leopard junior varsity retained their No. 1 status by winning consecutive sets, 25-16 and 25-15.
“My JV just keeps amazing me each game,” an elated Lakewood head coach Sheila Davidson said as the fans cleared out of the gym after the two matches. “Not only are they undefeated in the conference, but we’ve only dropped one set against a conference team and that was against James Kenan the last time we played them.
“The main goal for JV is to finish first and win the title. We’re just lucky to be in the position we’re in,” she added.
Kiara Rich led the Leopard JV in service points with 14. She also had 3 aces, 6 kill shots, and 2 blocks. Emily Lewis had 8 service points and 14 assists; Allyssa Horne, 7 service points, 1 kill; Rashyda Parker, 6 service points, 9 kills, and 3 blocks; Aleah Parker, 5 service points, 2 kills; Anna Heinz, 4 service points, 2 aces, 3 kills, and 16 digs.
The No. 2 Leopard varsity clawed passed the No. 3 Tigers by winning three of their four sets, 25-7, 27-25, 25-10, 25-15.
Lakewood led by 10 points for most of the first game, and when the score got to 18-7, the Leopards quickly put the set to bed by scoring 7 straight points.
The second game started out just the opposite, with the Tigers taking the lead. The score reached 12-19 before the Leopards came alive in a long volley with both teams keeping the ball alive after seemingly impossible shots. Lakewood finally got the point and managed to score the next five to bring the score to 17-19.
The Tigers got the next two points. Then Lakewood got a point to bring the score to 18-21.
It looked like the Tigers were going to finish the set when they scored three more to get to set point, 18-24, but the Leopards weren’t finished and tied the set at 24. They still couldn’t manage to take the lead and James Kenan finally won by two hard-fought points, 25-27.
The next two sets, the Leopards took the lead early and the Tigers weren’t able to recover.
“Our girls played excellent in the first game, but it’s kind of like we take our foot off the gas and give the other team hope,” Davidson said, explaining the first two varsity sets of the match.
“The reason we lost that second set was 18 points on us. We missed like five serves, we were aced on 8 times, and then we had six or seven hitting errors. Taking nothing away from James Kenan, they did play hard and they got to every ball,” she said.
“If we’re serving well and we’re receiving serves well, we are a tough team, but our problem is that short game,” she added.
And speaking of serves, Leopard Morgan Herring had 16 service points, with three of those being aces, plus 13 kill shots. Katie Stewart had three aces out of her 14 service points. Bailey Dudley had 17 service points and 7 kill shots; Teisha Rich had 13 service points and 15 kill shots; Allyson Heinz had 7 service points, plus a fantastic 34 assists; Rashyda Parker had 6 kills, plus 5 blocks; and Jache’ Servance, had 9 service points and 2 kill shots.
The junior varsity is still undefeated in the conference and the varsity has only one conference loss this season. The Leopards travel to Wildcat country on Thursday to face a tough Hobbton team.