Prep Volleyball: Lincoln sweeps Somerset to close regular season
Lincoln County¿s Arienne Stephens (23) goes up for a block along with teammate Samantha Douglas against Somerset¿s Katharine Holmes during the Patriots¿ three-game sweep. Stephens had 11 kills and Douglas added three kills with an ace in the victory. (Hal Morris / October 5, 2012)
The Patriots jumped out to big leads in each game Thursday and capped off the regular season by downing visiting Somerset 25-9, 25-11, 25-19 on senior night.
“We were real excited that we came in with the kind of energy we wanted to have and played well together as a team, and everyone filled thier roles,”¿Lincoln coach Amanda Massey-Wiles said. “It’s a really good time for us to have a game like this going into the district tournament.”
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Patriots (13-14), who play Garrard County in a 45th District semifinal Monday at Boyle County. Lincoln beat Garrard 3-1 in the teams’ only meeting Sept. 20.
Arienne Stephens had 11 kills, three coming off blocks, Vanessa Conley had nine aces and Ciara Saylor had five kills and three aces to lead Lincoln.
And while Massey-Wiles has said this season that her team tends to lose focus at times, especially with leads, that was not the case Thursday.
“It was something weve bene working on a lot, keeping our focus from the beginning to the end,” she said. “And getting a better, stronger start. And that’s something I thought we did really well today.”
Two straight aces from Saylor put Lincoln ahead 6-1 in the first set. A kill from Samantha Douglas, who had three on the night along with an ace, made it 18-8. Up 23-9, Douglas had an ace and BreyAnna Hoover had one of her three kills to close out the first set.
Conley, the team’s setter, showed her serving prowess in opening up the second set. She had five aces, and Stephens had a kill, as Lincoln jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Somerset came back and cut it to 8-5 before a side out gave Douglas the serve. She then served 11 straight points as Lincoln blew out to a 20-9 lead.
“I think the 11 straight points kept our momentum moving and also kept our team unified. We all cheer for each other when do something good,”¿Massey-Wiles said. “I think it’s something that excited the team and excited the crowd. I thought we had a good crowd tonight and showed a lot of school spirit.”
Stephens had two blocks for points and slammed home another kill during the run. Her net play was crucial, Massey-Wiles said.
“Arienne has really come into her own this year with her blocking and hitting,”¿the Lincoln coach said. “And we’ve got an excellent setter with Vanessa Conley with the back set. It’s a difficult spot to set and she can get her the kind of set (Stephens) needs to score.
“I’ve really been proud of everybody’s passing, and we’ve had some real strong hitters come out and swing away. And I think that’s helped us earn points instead of just playing with the other team. I think that’s something to help keep the intensity on the court throughout the match.”
Jessica Olsen’s kill made it 22-8, the Lincoln relied on three errors by Somerset (10-21) to end the second set.
Conley had two more aces as Lincoln led 4-0 in the first set, but the Briar Jumpers would keep it close.
Two straight kills from Stephens made it 18-10, but Somerset cut the lead to 19-14 on a block from Katharine Holmes.
That would be as close as the Jumpers would get, however. A kill from Saylor made it 23-18, then a hit from Stephens was misplayed and a final shot went wide to give Lincoln the sweep, its eighth of the season and its third 3-0 sweep.