Lakewood girls’ volleyball gave visiting Mater Dei a run for its money in the first set on Tuesday evening, but the top-ranked Monarchs survived 30-28, and went on to sweep the Lancers 25-18, 25-18.
Senior captains Julia Crawford and Romoni Vivao led the Lakewood attack. Crawford had a game-high 14 kills, and Vivao finished with 18 assists, eight digs and two blocks. Lakewood coach Mike Wadley agreed that the opening set looked like the best version of his team without injured starters like middle blocker Makayla Sorensen.
“It was aggressive defense,” Wadley said. “Players working hard, in their role, and passing the ball well. When we pass and defend well, we do well.”
Lakewood took an 8-5 lead in the first set on consecutive aces from Karysma Auliitia, and a Saeedah Ali kill. Mater Dei used Lancer errors to answer with a 7-1 run, but Lakewood chipped away with strong serve/receive and a handful of scramble points. A Keke Hall kill in the middle tied it 25-25. Lakewood came up empty on a pair of set-points before Mater Dei’s Meg Brown put down one of her team-high 12 kills for the 30-28 win.
High School Girls’ Volleyball: Lakewood vs. Mater Dei
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Mater Dei coach Dan O’Dell said his team “cleaned up some things” and it showed in the second set as the Monarchs roared out to a 19-7 lead. Lakewood showed character in a valiant effort that fell short, 25-18.
There were four early ties in the third set before Mater Dei pulled away. Junior setter Mia Tuaniga, sister of Long Beach State national champion Josh Tuaniga, led the Monarchs offense with 26 assists and 10 kills.
Mater Dei (5-0) is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section, and Lakewood (4-2) is ranked No. 5 after a loss against No. 2 Redondo Union last week. The Lancers open Moore League play at Millikan on Thursday in the Battle of the Blueprint.