SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Tess Collins may only be a freshman, but one aspect she seems to have learned from her 10 Lakeside senior teammates — even when things aren’t going their way.
“We just always try to stay positive,” Collins said. “Cheer them on. I don’t want to be negative because we’re down or anything like that.”
In their match with crosstown rival Edgewood, the Dragons had a lot not going their way.
They withstood a late-scoring charge in the first set before hanging on for a win, then found themselves down late in both the second and third sets.
By the end of the night, though, Lakeside had completed another three-game sweep, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 in Chagrin Valley Conference volleyball action Thursday night at Lakeside High School.
Collins wasn’t just cheering her team on, she was serving them on as well.
Taking the ball in the third set with her team trailing 19-13, she served Lakeside to a 10-0 run to give the Dragons (4-0, 3-0 CVC) control of the closing set.
“I was very focused,” Collins said of her mindset. “I just wanted to get points back because I knew we were behind. I tried to spot serve to keep it away from the libero.”
She also received plenty of help on the run.
Chris Rodriguez tallied four kills and Hailee Aguinaga had a pair, including the one to end the match. Sidney Griffith also had a key block to keep the Warriors from taking the momentum back.
Lakeside was in trouble in the second set
Trailing 22-16, Jeylo Rodriguez took the Dragons on an 8-0 run. For a team that didn’t have much experience playing from behind, Lakeside coach Stephanie Kubec was happy with the way her team handled the adversity, even though some of it was their own doing.
“They played great at the end and give them credit for that,” Kubec said. “But, they were put in situations that they shouldn’t have been put in. We had a lot of unforced errors. We let a lot of calls or non-calls go against us.
“We made a lot of mistakes that we don’t normally make and I think Edgewood saw that and at times they outplayed us, outhusteled us, and outhit us. They played the game we normally played.”
Edgewood 3-2, 1-1 CVC) was sparked by the sister duo of Julia and Ella Sloan. Julia led the Warriors with 17 kills, while Ella added 11. Julia Sloan also contributed 13 digs.
Aside from having sizable leads in the second and third sets, the Warriors had an impressive run in the opener that fell short, rallying from a 22-14 deficit.
Edgewood coach Dave Fowler credited his team for their effort, but was adamant about how good the Dragons are .
“Lakeside is the cream of the crop,” Fowler said. “We matched their effort. The thing that amazed me, no matter what the numbers said on the scoreboard, they played hard no matter what.
“That’s admirable. It goes to show we can compete with anybody in the league. We just need to play a little bit cleaner game when we need to.”
Fowler also credited the job Collins did for making it difficult for his team at the end.
“She was a great server,” he said. “We were getting balls up and my setter was in a very difficult position. We needed a side out and my setter had to come from 28-feet away and she’s facing the weak side. It was not from lack of effort on our part, credit them, they made it very difficult on us.”
Lakeside will be at Brush on Saturday afternoon, while the Warriors will host Geneva in CVC action on Tuesday.