The Lady Raiders of Midway High School took the short trek over to Lakewood where they faced off against the Lady Leopards on Tuesday in cross-county volleyball action. The two schools split the JV and varsity contests with the JV Leopards rallying for a 2-1 win while the Midway varsity took the 3-1 win.
In the varsity contest, the battle was hotly contested.
With Midway ahead 10-8 in the first set, Leopards head coach Sheila Davidson called for timeout to regroup her ladies for the battle.
The short intermission also gave Midway time to refocus as the Raiders went on to take a 13-8 lead following the timeout. The Lady Leopards fought hard, but Midway proved victorious in the first set of the varsity match.
In set two, Midway raced out to an early lead but the Lady Leopards chased them down to reclaim the lead. Lakewood’s lead grew throughout the set, but they would have to fend off a late comeback attempt from Midway. Lakewood held on, winning the second set, 25-23.
With the the game tied at one set apiece, someone had to make a move.
The Lady Raiders held a modest lead for most of the third set, but Lakewood did score four points in a row to trim the Midway lead to 24-20 at the end of the set to make things interesting. The Raiders were forced to call a timeout to stop the Lakewood rally. The regroup worked as Midway won the third set, 25-20.
A game that saw many lead changes, it was only fitting for the fourth and final set to begin with an early 8-2 Leopard lead. In true fashion, however, Midway rallied to get back in it, tying it up at 9-9 before going on to win the set, 25-17.
After the game, Lakewood head coach Sheila Davidson was crisp in her reaction and fully crediting her opponent.
“Midway showed up, believed, and served well,” said Davidson, reacting to her varsity team’s loss to rival Midway. “They communicated and walked the walk,” she concluded.
Over on the Midway side, head coach Brandy Wrench was also complimentary of her opponent.
“Lakewood is a great team, full of athletes,” she began. “It’s always a great game when we play each other. Lakewood wasn’t going to just hand it to us so we knew we ere going to have to work for it.”
Wrench also acknowledged that her team had an agenda and game plan coming into Tuesday nights matchup.
“Going into the game there were a few things I told the team. Our communication is key, we needed to execute the plays, we needed to get on top and stay there. We needed to stay positive and we needed to prove everyone wrong when they think that this season is just a rebuilding year,” Wrench shared.
“Our girls played great. I can’t brag on particular players because it took all 10 of our girls to get the win, but we were super tickled with Erin Barefoot starting the game with two back-to-back blocks and Alexis Jackson ending the game on a big block. Our front line was strong with big hits and our back line defended well. Overall, we are very pleased and want to continue playing hard as a team,” Wrench concluded.
With the loss, the Lady Leopards drop to 1-1 overall. They continue their season on Thursday with a short trip over to Clinton, kicking off a series of five straight road games.
For Midway, they improved to 2-0 on the young season and will resume play on Tuesday with their first home game of the season, facing off yet again against Lakewood.
In the JV matchup, the two teams put on a spectacle. The Raiders were hot right out of the gate, which earned them a 10-4 lead before Lakewood picked up steam and trimmed the deficit to just three, 11-8.
The game was within a point when Midway head coach, Susan Clark, called for time to halt the Lakewood momentum.
Midway then surrendered the lead at 19-18, although, it was a short-lived as the Lady Raiders reclaimed the lead, 22-21.
The Leopards didn’t score for the remainder of the first set as they lossed 25-21.
Needing a win in the second set to keep the game alive, the Lady Leopards brought their all as they fought back from an early deficit to tie things at 15 apiece before the Lady Raiders signaled for a timeout. Out of the timeout, Lakewood and Midway traded barbs before Midway took a 23-22 lead. In crunch time, the Lady Leopards began firing on all cylinders, winning the second set 29-27.
The final set of the match saw Lakewood get out to an early 9-3 lead, but the Lady Raiders responded, tying it up at 12 all. Lakewood, though, went on to win the set and match, 16-14.
The Lady Leopards, with the win, go to 2-0 for the season. With the loss, Midway drops to 1-1.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]