KINGMAN – It appeared the Lee Williams High School volleyball team was on its way to an easy sweep of River Valley Thursday night at LWHS. But the Lady Dust Devils had other plans – putting up a battle in the second and third sets before the Lady Vols ultimately pulled away for a 3-0 victory (25-10, 25-17, 25-21).
“It’s good for us to have to fight for it,” said Lee Williams head coach Riley Blake. “The girls might not be used to that. Having to fight for it makes them realize they’re not going to come out and cream every single team, every single time.”
It proved to be a great learning experience for the Lady Vols as they found themselves in a back-and-forth duel early in the second set. Lee Williams finally found its groove by taking a 12-8 advantage and never looked back for a 2-0 lead.
But River Valley wasn’t going to go away without one last surge. The Lady Dust Devils jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and looked as if they had the momentum to steal the set.
“We could get easily discouraged by that, but instead we fought back,” junior Lorelei Fernandez said. “We found each other and made it work.”
The Lady Vols stormed back to tie it up at 4-4 before another battle ensued with each team trading points. And in similar fashion as the second set, Lee Williams gave itself some breathing room with a 14-9 lead and held off a late River Valley rally to start the season on a good note.
“It boosts our confidence, for sure,” Fernandez said of the 2-0 start. “Coming in, we didn’t know what was going to happen. It’s a new team – brand new everything. So to come out with the two wins feels good.”
It was an all-around team effort on the offensive end as Eliza Telford notched five kills, followed by Kalyse Whitehead with four and Fernandez and Kyla Romera with three apiece.
Whitehead led the charge on defense with four solo blocks and LaNae Burgess had 10 assists.
There were also a few other Lady Vols that made a difference.
“Brianna (Portillo) came off the bench for the second set and she played her butt off,” Blake said. “I appreciate that. Lorelei is always running around. Our libero Natalie (Sanchez) did awesome too. Kyla Romeo did phenomenal as well.”
Lee Williams (2-0) is back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday with a road match at Mohave.
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