Cavs answer King’s Fork’s challenge

Published 7:47 pm Friday, August 26, 2011

Lakeland’s Michael Estienne had nine kills and five aces as the Cavaliers beat King’s Fork in four games, 8-25, 25-19, 25-9, 25-10, Thursday at Lakeland. The Cavaliers are 2-0 on the new season.

King’s Fork’s boys volleyball team hasn’t won a district match since October 2009 but for the opening set of Thursday’s match at city rival Lakeland.

Lakeland head coach Daniel Waller was fine with his team getting, and answering, a wake-up call. He was pleased, as well, with what KF’s play showed about volleyball growing in Suffolk, even if it’s at a rival school.

“King’s Fork came in here and they were ready to play and it showed in game one. It’s very good to see a marked improvement. They certainly are a competitive team now,” Waller said.

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The Bulldogs (0-2) stormed out to a 25-8 win in the opening set before the Cavaliers (2-0) regrouped to win the next three games, taking them 25-19, 25-9 and 25-10.

“We came out and we weren’t playing very aggressively and they put it to us,” Waller said.

The Bulldogs won the first four points of the match, led by a couple spikes for kills by A.J. Jenkins. Jenkins, a lanky but high-leaping hitter, led the Bulldogs with 11 kills and three blocks on the night.

It was a combination of good hitting and steadily keeping the ball in play that led the Bulldogs to an increasing lead through the first set.

Richie Parks, KF’s main setter, scored himself with a kill for a 13-5 KF lead. Three straight Lakeland errors made it 16-5. Jenkins put a kill down and Josh Jahnsen served an ace for points 24 and 25 and a 1-0 KF lead.

The Cavaliers, coming in off a three-set sweep over Deep Creek Tuesday, found their rhythm from there. In the second set, the setting and hitting combo of Seth Fisher and Mike Estienne got the Cavs going.

Fisher had no assists and Estienne, Lakeland’s setter for the past two years but now the top Cavalier hitter, had no kills in game one. Fisher totaled eight assists with Estienne getting seven kills in game two.

The Bulldogs put a couple rallies together, fighting back from a 6-0 Lakeland lead to 6-5, then cutting an 18-11 Cavalier lead to 18-16. Fisher and outside hitter Kylar Sparks combined for a spike to keep KF from drawing closer.

Games three and four turned into Cavalier routs with long service runs, such as five Estienne aces in a run from a 5-5 score to a 13-5 Lakeland margin. Ben Holland served a 5-0 run and Jay Baines served a 5-0 run up to a 24-8 Cavalier lead.

Lakeland jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the fourth set and rolled from there.

“The guys gathered themselves and started playing smarter volleyball so we were able to put together three wins,” Waller said.

Along with Jenkins’ play at the net, Parks had seven kills and seven assists and Jahnsen added eight assists for the Bulldogs.

Estienne and Sparks had nine kills each. Fisher had 12 assists and Brandon Nordan had six assists.

The Bulldogs host Hickory Monday with the boys match starting a tripleheader at 5 p.m. The Cavaliers face their first road test of the season at Western Branch on Monday at 5 p.m.