Lafayette downs Saltillo to improve to 3-0 in region play

Published 8:48 pm Thursday, September 15, 2022

Lafayette volleyball improved to 3-0 in Region 1-5A play on Thursday as they defeated rival Saltillo 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16) in a matchup between two sound defensive squads.

The Lady Commodores (12-8) jumped out to an early lead in the match—claiming the first set 25-15 behind a strong performance from outside hitter Harmony Jackson.

The junior tallied six kills in the opening set alone as she managed to find holes in Saltillo’s defense on seemingly every attempt.

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“She did a good job of putting the ball away when it was given to her,” said head coach Taylor Elliott. “Any time she got a good set she put the ball away so we can’t ask for any more than that.”

The ‘Dores struggled to find a rhythm in the second set however—falling behind 14-9 early on before fighting their way back to narrow the deficit to 24-23.

Their late rally fell short however as Saltillo won the final point to even the match at two sets a piece.

Elliott said she laid into her team during the set—telling her team to focus on themselves and cut down on defensive miscues.

“I think that they knew that they were the better team and it was a matter of a lack of mental focus,” Elliott said. “[I just] reminded them that all they need to do is their job… and if we could just clean up our mistakes then we shouldn’t have a problem.”

The message seemingly hit the right note as the ‘Dores cruised through each of the next two sets en route to a 3-1 victory.

The win moved them to 3-0 in Region 1-5A play, and they will now have a chance to clinch the region championship with a win over Lake Cormorant next week.

“I don’t think that we’ve peaked yet—we’re still putting pieces together,” Elliott said. “I’m really liking our defense whenever we’re going for balls… our serving is looking really good, our blocking is getting better, we’re starting to connect our setters and run our offense but I still think the mental battle before games is something we need to work on.”

Lafayette will be back at home next week when they host Regents on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before taking on Lake Cormorant on Thursday.