The562’s coverage of Long Beach Volleyball in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation.
The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
Tuesday night’s meeting between the Lakewood and Millikan girls’ volleyball teams showed how much progress the Rams have made, but how far ahead the defending Moore League champion Lancers are in their quest to repeat. Lakewood was able to answer every Millikan challenge in a 25-18, 25-22, 25-14 sweep victory.
The Lancers will now travel to Wilson on Wednesday to face the Bruins, who are also undefeated in the Moore League thus far. The winner of the match will have sole possession of first place in the league after the first round of play.
“Millikan played fantastic, (coach Ashleigh Atsaros) is doing a great job over there,” said Lakewood coach Mike Wadley. “We knew they had the middle and our goal was to minimize her and stay in system.”
The Rams’ aggressive serving definitely had Lakewood out of system at times, as the Rams jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first set after two aces, but Lakewood and libero Cortni Youngblood were able to bear down and get the ball to setter Fatimah Hall, who was outstanding in directing her team’s offense.
“We wanted to come in here and beat them and show everyone how it’s done,” said Hall. “We started a little slow but we picked it up. They served well but once we started handling it we were able to be a little more creative.”
Lakewood was led by Hall (26 assists), Youngblood (15 digs), and fellow senior Samarah DaCoud, who had11 kills, three aces, and 13 digs. Every time Lakewood needed a big play, DaCoud was able to elevate and not just score a point, but do it emphatically enough to get her team fired up.
“In my opinion, she’s the best player in the league and she’s playing like an MVP,” said Wadley. “That was a big goal of hers and I feel like she’s playing at that level–she makes those big swings when we need them.”
Jade Epps had 12 kills for the Laners, who also got five kills from Lala Hall.
Millikan was led by Elle Lundahl’s three kills, and two from Aaliyah Fasavalu, who also had five blocks.