Lady Bulldogs sweep Lakeland

Published 7:46 pm Friday, August 26, 2011

King’s Fork’s Brenna Ginn taps the ball past the blocking attempt of Lakeland’s Simone Russell during Thursday night’s volleyball match at Lakeland. The Lady Bulldogs (1-1) swept the Lady Cavaliers (0-2) 25-21, 25-17, 25-17.

King’s Fork’s girls volleyball squad claimed an opening set which could’ve gone either way, then went on to win the next two games in easier fashion for a sweep at Lakeland Thursday night, 25-21, 25-17, 25-17.

Jamika Townsend has been a key leader for the Lady Bulldogs for two seasons heading into this new year and she still is a leader, as evidenced by her 17 assists and seven kills against the Lady Cavaliers. Now, though, the Lady Bulldog program is getting to a point where one outstanding player doesn’t have to carry as much of the load.

“We have four setters, or girls who we know are able to set for us if we need them to,” said King’s Fork head coach Sarah Whitfield. “Two of the girls are new up from JV. They’re building and working hard in practice, then we have Courtney and Jamika who run the show for us.”

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Courtney Brown notched 10 assists on Thursday. More importantly than the stats, though, Brown’s play allows Townsend to become more of a hitter and blocker.

“Courtney set some for us last year and has improved a lot,” Whitfield said.

“Our program’s definitely come a long way. We have more girls playing travel ball year around, which helps a lot. Then with the rule change about being able to have practices just about year around, we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were,” Whitfield said.

Last season, the Lady Bulldogs were in the hunt for a top-four finish and a district playoff spot, with the high point being an 8-6 record at one point, before a tough finish to the season.

Lakeland fought the Lady Bulldogs in a back-and-forth first set. The Lady Cavaliers moved ahead 13-11 on five straight points on Jackelyn Wood’s serve.

After KF scored two points to tie the score, Lakeland ran off four straight points. The blocking ability of Simone Russell and Victoria Treat presented a challenge to the Lady Bulldog hitters. As the match played on, though, the Lady Bulldog offense was too consistent.

Taylor Beale served an ace to bring KF to a 19-19 score. Crystal Collins, with help from the net cord, put an ace in for a 21-20 KF lead.

Brown set for Townsend, with Townsend hitting a soft shot around the Lakeland blockers, for a 23-21 KF lead. A serve by Natalie Montgomery and another Townsend hit took care of the last two points.

The Lady Bulldogs rolled out to an 8-0 lead, with Brown doing the serving for the run, to open the second set.

King’s Fork led throughout the third set as well. Eight Lady Bulldogs scored kills in the third game, led by three each from Collins and Megan Blythe.

“I’m definitely happy with our passing. That was pretty good tonight. We have a lot of good defensive players, good back row players. We can count on them to pass the ball to our setters,” Whitfield said.

Russell led the Lady Cavaliers with four blocks. Katie Owen had three aces.

Lakeland (0-2) travels to Western Branch Monday evening.

Collins and Townsend led KF with seven kills each. Blythe, Brown and Beale had three aces each.

The Lady Bulldogs (1-1) host Hickory Monday at 7 p.m.