Fast start for Cougars

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – So far, so good for the Lafayette Christian School volleyball team.

With Monday’s home win over Ballard Christian, Lafayette Christian stands at 5-1, and that includes a season-opening win over Callaway.

Lafayette Christian’s only loss came on the road against Heirway Christian last week, and it has followed that up with three straight wins.

On Monday, Lafayette Christian handled Ballard Christian in straight sets, 26-24, 25-17 and 25-18.

Among the standouts on Monday was senior Abbey Hudson, who had three kills and seven digs.

“She served very consistently, and had maybe one serving error,” Lafayette Christian head coach Rene Gomez said. “And defensively, it’s almost like we cloned her. She was all over the court.

Gomez added that Kaitlin Tucker did an “outstanding job of serving and attacking,” and she had six aces and five kills.

Olivia Hanners, who had two blocks and five kills, helped control things up front.

“She’s really playing well at the net,” Gomez said.

Gomez also pointed to the contributions made by Emily Stringham, who he said “did a great job defensively.”

Jenna Bowman, who plays the libero position, does what she always does, which is keep balls in play.

“She doesn’t get a lot of highlights because she doesn’t serve or come up to the net to attack, but she’s been averaging about 10 digs per game,” Gomez said.

Last year, Bowman set the school single-season record with 161 digs, and Gomez said “she’s on pace to possibly break her own record, and maybe become the career record holder.”

The Lady Cougars are a veteran team that features five seniors, Bowman, Hudson, Tucker, Hanners and Emily Wyzykowski.

With that experience, the team has high expectations, although Gomez said nothing will come easily in a difficult region.

Three teams in the region will qualify for the state tournament, and Gomez said there are four teams that have separated themselves from the remainder of the pack.

“It’ll be a fight between us, Holy Ground, Heirway and Harvester,” Gomez said. “We’ll have to work hard to get our seed in the state tournament.”

Lafayette Christian will host the region tournament in October.