Lakewood rally fails in game four

LAKEWOOD — After winning game one in convincing fashion, the Lakewood volleyball team faltered, giving up the next three games to Coupeville.

Lakewood lost the Sept. 23 game by scores of 25-17, 14-25, 16-25 and 21-25.

"The girls served well and we battled," said Lakewood coach Tasha Kryger. "But Coupeville is much improved. Our hats are off to them."

It was a great game defensively by both sides, with long volleys. Sophomore Kaylee Diggs didn't let her 5-10 frame stop her from leading the team in digs with 24, to go with her nine kills. Junior setter Samantha Adams added another 16 digs to go with her 26 assists and junior defense specialist Allie Hernandez had 14 digs. Unfortunately for Lakewood fans, though, it was often Coupeville who came away with the point.

Kryger chalked it up to a confidence issue. After winning game one aggressively, including kills by four or more different players, game two got off to a rocky start, with five errors in a row and 11 straight Coupeville points. Lakewood trailed as much as 17-1 before the teams exchanged a few points on serving errors. Finally, a block by Megan Eby and Jordan Wessell, along with a few kills, got the girls on the right side of 10 points. But it took the girls awhile to recover from the mental blow.

"The balls going out of bounds hurt us," Kryger said. "We have five errors in a row and they just lost confidence. Right now when we make mistakes, we don't bounce back as fast as we should. We need to put fire in their bellies."

By game four, the Lakewood game was coming around, but the girls trailed by a steady three-point margin or so when Coupeville was the first to reach 10 points. Lakewood got within a point at 22-21 before the Wolves scored the next three, ending Lakewood's hopes of forcing a tie-breaking fifth game.

The Cougars took their game on the road, visiting Sultan Sept. 29 and Cedarcrest Oct. 1. They return home Oct. 6 against South Whidbey.

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