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Rams subdue Lady Cobras in straight sets

Lakeside welcomed non-conference opponent Fountain Lake to the Lakeside Athletic Complex Monday night and rolled to a three-set victory ahead of the final stretch of the regular season.

Both teams and fans participated in a brief dedication for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month before the match and recognized survivors in the crowd. An auction was held after the match to raise funds to help raise awareness.

The Lady Cobras (19-8-1, 7-0 3A-South) were competitive throughout each set, but the Rams (17-5, 11-1 5A-South) claimed all three, 25-20, 25-13, 25-18.

"I thought we came out pretty good, and we were pretty intense in that first set," said Fountain Lake head coach Tina Moore. "We battled back and forth, and I thought that was a good energy for us.

"Second set, I think (Maddie) Trusty hit super well ,and she just picked us apart. It kind of put us in a slump mentally. Third game, we rallied back so we kind of got in there and made it more competitive than the second."

Trusty paved the way for the Rams as she paced her team with 30 kills, two assisted blocks and six digs.

"I think we had to get in the flow of the game," explained Lakeside head coach Rhonda Thigpen. "Second game, we started getting momentum. Our No. 30 (Trusty) had a very hot game."

Olivia Lawrence led the Rams with 32 assists, five digs and one ace.

"We missed a lot of serves, but that's focusing," added Thigpen. "They need to focus because we're down to the last stretch so it's very important that we play every game.

"I was glad we re-focused because I thought we were really sloppy at first, but Fountain Lake is well-coached. She goes to state, so this was a good game for us to focus on. We've just got to play these two weeks out and go from there."

Claire Monte added five kills and two assisted blocks. Meghan Fuller-Freeman tallied two solo blocks, two kills with one aced service point.

Molly Stineman controlled the back line and assisted the Rams' defensive game as she led with 18 digs. Daelynn White added six.

Adachi Igbokidi and Katie Ballard had three kills a piece. Igbokidi answered Fountain Lake's net game with three solo blocks.

"They have a lot more power than we do," said Moore. "They run a very fast offense, and we don't see that every day at our level. Our division, we don't always see that speed that they brought. They're a great team.

"Coach Thigpen has done a great job. I've watched those girls play for years growing up through the club system and they put it together well. I'm proud of my girls for playing hard. It was a good match for us going into the next two games we have to play."

Fountain Lake freshman Sophie Skinner paced the Lady Cobras with 13 assists, four kills and two digs. Libero Erin Graves tallied 10 digs.

Senior Cherokee Fields had five kills and two digs, while classmate Emiley Burke added six with one assist and two kills.

"I thought they came really ready," noted Thigpen. "They brought good fan support, they were even louder than our fans at first, so we had to talk to them. They got our section and they were well-prepared. She's a good coach, she does a great job. I thought their intensity level was very good."

Kaitlyn Bledsoe had three digs, adding two kills with one ace. Landry Cate tallied two solo blocks with one kill.

Emoree Martin ended the night with three digs and four kills.

"I thought it was a good setup for the week," added Moore. "We play Episcopal tomorrow and Thursday is Jessieville, that's for our conference. So if we go take care of business, then we'll try to finish our conference strong going into our tournament next week. This was a good, hard fought practice game for us to get ready for our conference tomorrow."

Lakeside hosted J.A. Fair (2-14, 0-12) for a home conference match on Tuesday night. The Rams will travel to Hot Springs (7-9, 5-7) for a rivalry match on Thursday.

Fountain Lake hosted Episcopal (14-8, 5-3) for a conference match on Tuesday and will host Jessieville (7-11, 4-5) for a rivalry match on Thursday to close the regular season.

* The junior varsity Lakeside squad claimed its match in straight sets, 25-20, 25-13.

Natalie Jennings led the junior Rams with 15 assists, four digs, four kills and a pair of aces.

Wesley Divers tallied six kills, adding seven digs. Shelby Kathcart had two solo blocks.

Sports on 10/10/2018

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