So far this season Lakewood has seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut, rolling through the Moore League competition pretty efficiently. That earned the Lancers a first-place standing and the top ranking in the CIF Southern Section for Division 2.
The first time Lakewood faced defending league champion Wilson, the Lancers swept the Bruins by a combined score of 75-45. On Thursday afternoon at Lakewood, however, Wilson proved how much they’ve improved this season, winning a stunner 13-25, 30-28, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13.
“We hadn’t given anyone a reason to expect what we did today,” admitted Wilson coach Jeremy Cook after the match. “We were a million times better defensively than we have been. We went into today 11-11—we know how talented we are, we know we’re capable of more.”
The first set didn’t show that as the Lancers easily took the frame. But trailing 27-26 in the second set, the Bruins got the kind of effort that can change an entire season. A kill looked like it was going long, but Josh Lambert sprinted to the end line and got a foot under it, kicking the ball back over the net. The Bruins ended up winning the point to avoid going down 2-0, and came back to win the set.
“It was a pretty exciting play,” said Cook.
Lambert finished with 22 kills in addition to the kick save, backed up by Robby Metscher’s 12 kills, Payne Lounsbery’s 11 kills and six aces, Alex Witz’s 10 kills and three blocks, and Dylan Herrera’s nine kills and three blocks.
Lakewood is still in sole possession of first place with just one loss in league; Wilson is now in second place with two losses, one to Millikan and one to Lakewood. The Rams lost to Long Beach Poly in four sets on Thursday afternoon. Next week will sort out much of the league standings as Wilson visits Poly on Tuesday and then Lakewood visits Poly.
St. Anthony (20-3, 7-0) cruised to an easy win over Mary Star of the Sea to remain undefeated in the Camino Real League. Aidan Grosz led the Saints with 10 kills, backed up by nine kills from Brandon Barry. Nick Aguilar led the offense with 28 assists, three aces, and five kills.