Lakewood was able to send their seniors off on a good note after sweeping Millikan 25-13, 25-23, 25-19 Wednesday evening on Senior Night. The Lancers honored five seniors: Keke Hall, Laura Williams, Shayna Martinez, Michelle Jackson, and Jada Stewart.
“They’ve been able to buy in with the family culture that we have. They’ve been good leaders to the underclassmen,” said Lakewood coach Mike Wadley. “So when we have our senior class next year they know what to do and how to act, so that’s been really good.”
In addition to senior night, Laura Williams had a special presentation. She was given her jersey for the Under Armor All America game which will take place in Orlando, Florida this coming December. “I was super excited and super emotional for tonight because I know I’m going to be leaving these amazing girls and I’m going to miss playing with them,” said Williams.
Senior night usually comes with high energy from the home team and that is what we saw from Lakewood. Jade Epps was a key in starting things off for the Lancers. She had a kill and a block early on to help push an early lead. Millikan came out a little flat in the first set, finding themselves trailing 21-10. Natalie Paulson and Isabella Wilhelm made attempts to spark the Rams, but they eventually would drop the set 25-13.
Set two was a complete different story. The Rams were pushing Lakewood to their limits down the stretch. Only trailing by two, 20-18, Millikan got a kill from Natalie Paulson and a block from Aaliyah Fasavalu to knot it up at 20 late in the second set. The energy on the rams bench and in the bleachers was electrifying, trying to cheer their team on to defeat Lakewood in a set, something that has still not been done by any team in the Moore League. But Lakewood would prevail and take the set 25-20 after a Samarah DaCoud kill on a Fatima Hall assist.
“Senior night tends to do this a lot. I thought we would play the first set how we played the second set, and play the second set like the first set. But Millikan took a step back that first set and really worked hard the next two sets…They’re the team that pushed us the most in league and hats off to them,” said Wadley.
In the final set, Lakewood was able to jump out to a 5-1 lead thanks to Keke Hall, Samarah DaCoud, and Laura Williams. The set would be another close one tied up at 18, and giving Millikan a shot at extending this match. Unfortunately for the rams, Lakewood was strong enough to pull through and finish out 25-19 for the three set sweep.
“It’s about leveraging our strengths. I think we are very athletic at every position and can push any team to the brink as long we bring our A-game,” said assistant coach Lance Williams as they get ready to finish their regular season out at Cabrillo and prepare for the playoffs.
Millikan will wrap up their regular season as well on Thursday at home where they will have their senior night against Wilson.