Class 3A second-ranked Lugoff-Elgin beat archrival Camden 2-0 at a home tri-match on Wednesday that also featured White Knoll, the No. 10 team in the latest 4A volleyball rankings.
The Demons, 10-0 in regular season matches and 13-4 overall including tournaments, bounced back from a 2-1 loss to White Knoll to dispatch the Bulldogs, who entered the week tied for the fifth spot in the 3A rankings with Eastside.
“White Knoll is a good team, but we made it easy on them with so many free balls,” said L-E coach Susan Morris. “If the passing isn’t there and you don’t get the ball to the setter, you are not going to generate a consistent attack.”
Things went much smoother in the nightcap against Camden. The Demons serve-receive game was vastly improved, the result being a steady flow of good passes to setters Tyler and Megan Kirkland. L-E had only 22 kills in the three-game loss to White Knoll, but generated 25 kills in the two-game sweep of Camden.
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“I don’t think it was a case of the girls looking ahead to playing Camden, even though you might have expected that because it’s a match we’ve been looking forward to,” said Morris. “We just didn’t execute in the White Knoll match.”
L-E partially avenged a season sweep by the Bulldogs last year by winning with relative easy, 25-19 and 25-16. Camden closed within 21-18 in the first game before a kill by Chapin Talbot and back-to-back aces by Brandi Shull restored order for the Demons. In the second game, the Bulldogs trailed 15-13 but were in the hunt until a missed serve was followed by a 5-1 run by L-E that essentially made the outcome academic. The surge featured an ace by Megan Kirkland to get things going, a kill and an ace by senior Hannah Dederick, a block by Talbot and a left-side kill by Claire Noel.
Dederick, a 6-0 middle hitter who is getting some small college attention, had 11 kills vs. Camden and 11 more vs. White Knoll. Shull had a solid effort in the nightcap with six kills, one block and an assist. Tyler Kirkland had nine assists, Megan Kirkland eight.
The Demons, who returning everybody from last year’s 18-12 team, have high expectations this fall.
“We’re playing pretty well, but I’m not going to say I’m happy until we see what happens at the end of the season,” said Morris.
White Knoll was the big winner of the night, beating L-E and Camden by 2-1 counts to run its regular-season match record to 7-3. The Timberwolves were sluggish in the opener against Camden but finally caught fire vs. the Demons after losing the first game, 25-19.
Caitlin Bullock had five kills in the 25-21 second-game win and five more in the 25-17 third-game win. Lydia Wise had four kills and one block in the finale against the Demons to help close out the sweep.
WK topped Camden 25-21, 23-25, 26-24 in the first match of the evening.
Bullock 21 kills in the Timberwolves’ two outings, Sirayla Windsor finished with 15 kills, two blocks and three aces. Setter Sarah Barton amassed 45 assists, four kills and six aces. Wise didn’t do much in the opener, but delivered six kills and four blocks against Lugoff-Elgin.
Camden, which fell to 10-4, was scrappy enough to compete, but a bit too inconsistent to win either outing. Lauren Jeffcoat had 13 kills in the two matches to pace the Bulldogs attack. Senior Lauren Maxwell finished with five kills, 15 assists and two aces. Freshman Maggie Speaks had six kills, 13 assists and two blocks.