Lady Jackets make it back-to-back
Lee County's volleyball team has played well for six of its last seven sets, and that's good enough for back-to-back victories, including the Lady Jackets' first in their new conference, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Lee County rolled to a sweep of visiting Gray's Creek for a 1-0 start as a Cape Fear Valley member.
On Wednesday, also at home, it took until the second set for the Lady Jackets to seize the momentum. When they took over, the Yellow Jackets (3-2, 1-0) beat Chatham Central (1-3, 1-1) in four sets, 26-28, 25-13, 25-15, 25-9.
The Lady Jackets played a better match versus Gray's Creek, said head coach Cindy Kelly.
"We played at a lot faster pace (Tuesday) night," Kelly said. "As a team, we need to play that up-tempo volleyball in order to win this conference."
The first set against Chatham Central was a battle of trading runs. Chatham Central got out to a 6-3 lead. Lee County went on an 8-1 run from there. The Lady Bears moved ahead at 18-17 and kept going on Katelyn Moody's service run to 20-17.
The Lady Jackets scored the next four points to take the lead. Ashley Hudson's ace made it 22-21 Lady Bears. Chandler Patterson's kill off of Cole Fowler's set edged the Jackets ahead 23-22.
Another Patterson kill tied the set at 24-24, but Lee County errors led to Chatham Central set points at 25-24 and 26-25. A kill by Hudson earned another Lady Bear set point, at 27-26, and another Lee County miscue gave Chatham Central the lead.
The Lady Jackets cleaned up most of the errors from there and their offense picked up after dropping a set, Kelly said.
"We started talking a bit more and got some better passing. Any time we have good passing, we can run our offense," she said. "We ran our offense pretty well the last three games. Clay Fowler did a good job setting and getting the ball to our hitters."
All of the Jackets started firing in aces through the last three sets. Patterson and Meggan Rose served good runs in getting Lee County out to a 9-3 lead in set two. Fowler teamed up with Emily Stanley for four kills early in the set. The Lady Jacket lead kept building from there.
In set three, the Lady Bears jumped out to a 7-2 lead only for Lee County to get a 6-0 run on Katy Langston's service and move ahead 10-9. Soon, the Lady Jacket lead was 17-11 and the set wasn't in doubt. Stanley, who led the Lady Jackets with 12 kills, added four more in the third set.
Patterson served three straight aces leading off the fourth set. Lee County built its lead to 8-2, then 16-5.
Lee County finished with a 27-7 advantage in aces. Ten Lady Jackets notched aces with Patterson leading the team with five to go with her nine kills. Fowler set 26 assists. Ally Davis added seven kills. Madison Blakley had four aces.
For Chatham Central, Hudson had six assists and three kills. Katherine Little had five assists and four kills.
The Lady Bears return to Yadkin Valley play this evening, at East Montgomery with a 6 p.m. start.
Lee County has its third match in three nights, going back into Cape Fear Valley play at Douglas Byrd at 5:30 p.m. this evening.