LAGRANGE – Lakeland junior Bailey Hartsough was honored for surpassing 1,000 career kills between the second and third sets of Tuesday’s volleyball game against Fremont. The Lakers needed that scoring prowess to come away with a 3-1 win over the Eagles.
Hartsough totaled 12 kills, and added two blocks, in the 25-20, 25-17, 19-25, 25-18 win in which her, and her team’s, mental toughness was constantly tested.
Hartsough tallied six of her kills in a first set in which her team’s first lead didn’t come until the standout junior put the home team ahead 21-20. The Lakers fell behind 5-0 early, and that deficit remained largely intact for much of the set.
An ace from sophomore Kylie Bowling tied the set at 20, sparking a run in which Hartsough scored four of the final six points.
Bowling totaled four aces in the match, including back-to-back points in the second set to give her team a 2-0 lead.
Lakeland sealed the win in the fourth, racing out to a 10-2 lead before fighting off an Eagle rally. The Lakers led by as many as 12 points in the decisive set (15-3) only to have their edge shrink to as few as five (22-17) after Fremont scored eight consecutive points on a flurry of Laker errors. Four straight miscues by the road team, though, including a serve into the net on the final point, gave Lakeland the win.
The fourth set was needed after Fremont stole the third. The Eagles fought to a 15-point lead (18-3) as on the back of a dominant serving performance from seniors Madalyn Beeman and Madelyn Cress. The pair combined for five of the team’s seven aces in the set.
The Lakers nearly pulled off an improbable rally, though, scoring 11 of the final 12 points. Trailing 24-8, Lakeland fought back to a 24-19 score as Fremont failed to close out the set. The Lakers received a pair of aces from Faith Riehl, three kills by Lilly Baird and a block by Lilly Schackow as part of the run.
Lakeland (12-12, 4-5 NECC) continued what has been their strongest season in more than a decade, after managing single-digit wins every season dating back to at least 2005. The victory also snapped a two-game losing streak.
Fremont fell to 5-15 overall with the loss, including a 1-8 mark in league play. The Eagles have now lost three in a row after winning three of their previous four matchups.