Some team character was revealed for the Lady Cougars, and that is a good sign for the immediate future.
Lafayette Christian rallied for a 3-1 volleyball win over Heirway Christian Academy on Monday night in the LCS gym. The Lady Cougars had to work hard for the victory.
Coach Katie Firth and the Lady Cougars won two of their sets by just two points. Heirway Christian from Douglasville took the match down to the final, painstaking points. The Lady Eagles had numerous leads in the second and fourth sets.
But Heirway Christian could not put the Lady Cougars away. Lafayette Christian figured it out on the fly and with some hesitation.
“This was not a pretty win. We dug deep, and we went back to basics,” said Firth.
Lafayette Christian survived, 26-24 in the second set. Heirway Christian led early, but the Lady Cougars came back behind a Hana Stevens kill and some Mille Childree serves.
The Lady Eagles still led 22-20 late in the set. But Lafayette Christian rallied again behind junior setter Savana Bryant and Stevens. The Lady Cougars got some clutch serves from Stevens.
Lafayette Christian did not win the next set, however. Heirway Christian took the third set, 25-21. Some stomachs were turning. There were seven ties in the third set, including 9-9, 18-18 and 20-20.
The Lady Cougars went ahead 21-20 behind Childree. But Heirway Christian scored the last five points to win the set.
“We worked like we wanted it,” said Lady Eagles volleyball coach Mike Matteson.
The fourth and final set was a head-scratcher, too. Lafayette Christian was walking the tightrope. The Lady Cougars slipped, but they regained their composure.
Heirway Christian led 53 and 8-5 in the opening minutes of the fourth set. But the Lady Cougars would answer behind the play of Mae Snyder. The LCS senior served up two points. The Lady Cougars also got a much-needed ace from Savana Bryant.
Lafayette Christian scored four of the last six points in the match behind Bryant, Snyder and Hana Stevens.
“We cut the crap out and got with it. It was highstress, and we were hustling,” said Stevens, a 5-foot-7 playmaker.
Lafayette Christian, now 3-2 on the year, also won the first set of the night. The Lady Cougars outscored Heirway Christian, 25-11.
“We persevered. We pushed through, and we won with teamwork,” said the 5-foot-8 Snyder, the Lafayette Christian middle blocker.
The Lady Eagles played some scrappy volleyball, too. Heirway Christian still left with a 1-4 record.
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Chris Fernsler Sports Writer