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Lakewood Cougar junior libero Kalei Greenman defends against Glacier Peak on March 17. 

The Lakewood High School girls volleyball team made strides during a match on March 17 against Snohomish’s Glacier Peak High School. Unfortunately, the Cougars came up short against the Grizzlies losing in three straight sets (10-25, 14-25 and 24-26). 

“The game went really well,” Lakewood Volleyball Coach Alyssa Conn said. “We are a really young team.” 

She noted the varsity squad doesn’t have any seniors and has a couple of fresh-men.

“We really started focusing on our side of the net,” Conn said of the match between the Glacier Peak, which is a 4A Wesco Conference School. 

Coming off a March 15 win against Mariner High School, the Cougars came out cold against the Grizzlies. “It was almost like we were still warming up.”

Conn highlighted the efforts of junior libero Kalei Greenman covering the corner and supporting the back line. 

“She was doing a fantastic job reading where the ball was going,” Conn said. The defensive specialist had nine digs during the contest. 

The second set saw the Cougars make improvements in the second set remarking that junior setter McKenna Slusher helped provide energy on the court and creating something for other athletes. “I call her the playmaker,” Conn said. 

Slusher had three kills, 14 assists and 11 digs during the March 17 contest. 

What turned out to be the final set saw the team play more aggressive. “We took more risks, and the reward was great,” Conn said. The Cougars lost the final set by two points. 

Conn highlighted the efforts of junior OH Lydia Hots. “She had fire to touch the ball every opportunity that she was given.” Hots had two aces, eight kills one assist and seven digs during the match. 

The shortened and delayed fall season due to the pandemic sees Lakewood, which is a 2A school in the Northwest Conference, competing against 3A and 4A schools of the Wesco Conference. 

“We’re facing teams we never had an opportunity to play against,” Conn said. 

Lakewood School District Athletic Director Matt Blair said the change was made so the school district could work with schools that were in a similar phase and metrics as the northern schools in the Northwest District. “Wesco teams took us in.”

Conn said the athletes have shared how lucky they are to have a season this year.

“We’re really focusing on the camaraderie,” Blair said. 

As of March 22, the Lakewood Cougars are 1-5. They head to Monroe High School March 25 to face the Bearcats and then travel to Marysville Getchell March 29 to finish the season against the Chargers. 

 

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