WALKER – Walker High’s volleyball team found three distinctively different ways to win each set and conversely sweep Ascension Christian on Tuesday in the team’s next-to-last regular season match.
What the Lady Cats were able to do to accomplish in a 25-20, 25-11, 25-14 victory was further strengthen their postseason possibilities along with sending out their four-member senior class of Kameron Bond, Zoey Buckhalter, America Collins and Alexis Shirley victorious.
Walker (17-17) hosts Zachary at 6 p.m. Thursday to conclude the regular season.
“It’s Senior Night and our focus was on the game,” Walker coach Kaylee Guidry said. “We wanted to honor our seniors. We came together right before the start of the game and told them to focus in. The kids showed it and brought a lot of fight. It was fun to watch them. Our fans got into as well. That’s always good to have them behind us.”
They had plenty to cheer for from the beginning.
Behind the serving of Reese Patten and Shirley, Walker bolted to an early 8-1 lead following Shirley’s ace.
Ascension Christian countered with a 7-1 stretch that included a pair of aces and two unforced attacking errors, enabling the Lady Lions to draw to within 9-8.
Neither team was able to hold serve for very long and traded points with Walker never losing the lead.
Walker, which led 21-20 after an ACHS error, reeled off the last four points of the set, three of which were on the serve of Anna Ferrand who closed with an ace.
Junior Lillie Waguespack also became a force in the middle with a kill, while Patten added a kill off of an assist from Shirley.
“We’ve talked a lot about working through every point, following through on every point and not giving up in the middle of a set,” Bond said. “I think we improved each set.”
Patten served her team’s four points for a 4-0 lead in the second set, a span that included a kill from Waguespack and another from Bond with Patten providing the assist.
Walker opened a 17-8 cushion with Waguespack tallying three of her team-high seven kills, while Patten produced a pair of aces off of her jump serve.
Kyra Patrick picked up four service points, beginning with a pair of aces, and a kill from Waguespack that made it 21-10 when the Lady Cats finished the set with three kills from Ali Kennedy, who got the final one to crawl over the net and hit the ground.
“We showed fight all night,” Guidry said. “Ascension Christian’s a great team that’s very well coached. We knew coming in it would be a close one. We just fought through and the girls gained confidence through the match.”
Walker found itself trailing for the first time in the match and rallied to tie the third set on four occasions.
With the set tied at 7-all officials called for a replay and with Buckhalter serving the Lady Cats won the next point on a wide return, going on a mini 5-0 run with an ace from Buckhalter and kill from Ferrand to make it 11-8.
Waguespack produced three kills in the set with Shirley adding three assists, helping Walker pull away with a 5-1 spurt highlighted by kills from Waguespack and Patten, who wound up serving the final point.
Shirley led the Lady Cats with 13 digs, and nine assists, Patten added 10 digs, seven assists and three kills, while Bond added 11 digs and six kills.
“Compared to even last week, I think we’ve improved so much,” Bond said. “I hope we can beat Zachary and get ourselves in postseason.”