Win opens Cougar volleyball season

Its always nice to start the season with a win.
And thats just what the Lakewood volleyball team did Sept. 4 when they took on non-conference opponent Concrete on the Lions turf.
The Cougars dominated the match, winning convincingly in all three games, 25-12, 25-8 and 25-10. Concrete was overmatched. The Lions finished in the cellar of the Northwest Conference last season and their woes dont appear to be over.
Concrete had very few girls out this year, so they were on a down year, Lakewood coach Monica Rooney said, adding that the match provided her Cougars with an opportunity to see what is working.
We were able to play our game and execute our game strategy and do some things really well. It was a good first match to kind of put into play all the things wed been working on our offense, our defense and putting that all together for the first time.
Junior setter Peyton Mizell and sophomore outside hitter Liliya Kibitskaya led the offense. Mizell racked up 21 assists and six ace serves, while Kibitskaya tallied eight aces of her own. Senior middle hitters Tawnya Hulslander and Aly Stewart put up seven and eight kills respectively.
The team faced decidedly more fierce competition when they traveled to Mariner High School for some tournament volleyball Sept. 8. Though the tournament hosted teams from 4A, 3A and 2A schools the latter being Lakewoods division the Cougars did not end up facing conference rivals Archbishop Murphy or Granite Falls, both of which were in attendance.
We got to watch them and we almost got to play them, Rooney said. Its always nice to get to see your opponents play before we get a chance to match up with them.
The Cougars split matches against Blaine and Eastside Catholic in pool play, while losing to Shorewood and Kent-Meridian.
Mizell and Kibitskaya led the offense once again at Mariner, but Rooney said everyone on the team played their parts well.
Those are the two team statistical leaders without counting everything, but this was a total team effort, and thats the point of going to a group meet, she said.
The girls played really well. We faced some solid teams and stepped up our play. We didnt finish as high as we would have liked, but we played some pretty darn good volleyball.

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