The Cleveland Middle School Lady Blue Raiders faced the Baylor Red Raiders on the volleyball court at home Monday night in a matchup that proved to be a fight to the finish.
Baylor took the first set 23-25 while Cleveland came from behind in set two, winning 26-24. Head coach Brandi Ownby did some tweaking in the lineup in the deciding set, an adjustment that proved to be effective with Cleveland picking up the 16-14 win in the deciding set.
“It felt good to win at home tonight,” Ownby commented on the team’s performance. “We opened up with Baylor this season, losing in the third set 15-17. We knew that tonight’s game would come down to just a few points, and that is exactly what happened. Serve receive hurt us tonight, and the girls continue to struggle with communication. Thankfully, our serving game kept us alive.”
Sophia Lakatosh served six aces with no errors, totalling 17 service points. Lakatosh also had five digs, four kills, a block, and nine assists. Emma Flowers served up five aces, 12 service points, 12 digs, nine kills, and two assists. Katelyn Hanshew had two aces, and 10 service points, while libero Hannah Longley had an ace, nine service points, 15 receptions, and eight digs.
“Sophia has really played well the past few games. She has been getting some good touches as a hitter, and her serve is very effective,” said Ownby.
The CMS junior varsity had an interesting twist to prepare for in its matchup against Baylor. Cameras were set up to record the Nigerian player who will appear on a Nickelodeon reality TV documentary produced by the same producer who did “Supersize Me.” All the girls and players had to sign waivers before playing in the game, but they put up another win against Baylor, winning both sets 25-12 and 25-19. The seventh-grade Lady Raiders took their record to 16-1 with the win.
Assistant coach Trish Flowers was happy that all her players got to get out on the court for the match.
“The only way these girls are going to get better is to step on the floor. They do such a great job each night that it simply makes it easy to play everyone. They can all play any position I ask them to, and have no problem stepping off the court so a teammate can get some touches,” said Ownby of her JV Lady Raiders.
Sydni Geren led the team with eight aces.
The Blue Raiders will be on the road for a tilt with Dayton this afternoon.