Lakewood’s 2019 girls’ volleyball season came to an end on Wednesday night in the Division 2 quarterfinals, but the Lancers didn’t go quietly. After falling behind 2-0, Lakewood came roaring back behind a big surge from its home crowd to win set three, and almost win set four in a 25-15, 25-14, 17-25, 25-22 defeat.
“We didn’t lay down, we fought back,” said Lakewood coach Mike Wadley. “We did a better job of playing our game in the third and fourth sets.”
Rancho Cucamonga easily won the first two sets by a combined score of 50-29, and looked headed for an easy sweep of the Lancers. But Lakewood’s crowd came to life between the second and third sets and the team responded, jumping out to a 6-0 lead with freshman Samarah DaCoud serving up a pair of aces.
Wadley made a substitution between sets, bringing in freshman Courtni Youngblood at libero. That gave Lakewood a lineup of almost all ninth and tenth graders with DaCoud and sophomore Laura Williams doing most of the hitting and freshman setter Fatima Hall running the offense.
Lakewood went up 20-10 in the third set and easily won it. The Lancers were up 21-19 in the fourth set and looked destined to force a fifth set, but Rancho called a timeout and then went on 5-0 run that included an ace and a block.
Lakewood had a strong season for a team led by a plethora of young talent.
“We wanted to win league and we wanted to make the state tournament,” said Wadley. “We were one win short of both those goals, but we’ll be back.”
Lakewood was led by DaCoud, who had 14 kills, Shayna Martinez, who had 10 kills, and Laura Williams, who had nine kills. Youngblood had 14 digs, and Hall had 40 assists.