Lafayette volleyball tops Regents in playoff tune up

Published 10:26 am Friday, October 8, 2021

The regular season concluded for volleyball on Thursday which also capped a stretch of three games in as many days for Lafayette.

Coming off a big sweep over Lake Cormorant to clinch the Region 1-5A title on Wednesday, the Commodores went across town to Regents School of Oxford to take on the Lions in both teams finales. Lafayette finished the week undefeated, defeating the Lions 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-12, 25-13).

Entering Thursday, Lafayette head coach Zoe Storck new conditioning and stamina could play a factor after her team had played two matches the previous two days. The Commodores (21-8) closed out the regular season by avenging their five-set loss to Regents to begin the season on Aug. 10.

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“I knew that going into tonight we had a really long week, but we were ready,” Storck said. “We were excited, especially to come in here and showcase how much we improved this season.”

Lafayette cruised through the first set, but then struggled in the second. Regents regrouped after dropping the opening set and put pressure on the Commodores to even the match at 1-all.

In the third and fourth sets, Lafayette responded how Storck wanted to see before entering next week’s playoffs.

“That’s exactly what I wanted to see my from my team,” Storck said. “I think a huge part of volleyball in the postseason is being able to adapt to your circumstances. After the second set, we looked at our mistakes. We looked at what (Regents) was doing well and made adjustments and came out really strong.”

On Wednesday, Lafayette traveled to Lake Cormorant and knocked off the Gators 3-0 to clinch the No. 1 seed out of 1-5A. The Commodores will host Holmes County Central on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs.

For Regents, Thursday’s match served as their final tune up before traveling to Jackson for next week’s MAIS state tournament on Wednesday and Thursday. The Lions responded in the second set, but were unable to overcome early deficits in the final two sets of the match.

Most of the players on each team are very familiar with each other, playing as teammates on club teams in the offseason, which should provide some valuable knowledge when squaring off on opposites sides of the net.

“There’s so many kids that play together in the offseason that they have a blast playing against (each other),” said Regents head coach Kacie Hengler. “Part of it’s like we know better. We know how (Lafayette’s) Chloe (Carr) severs. We know how Caroline (Crockett) serves. Lets make sure we’re paying attention.”