SELLERSBURG – Junior outside hitter Ligia Williams had 21 kills as Rock Creek Academy controlled the front line in a 25-15, 25-23, 25-17 sweep of visiting Jeffersonville in a volleyball match on Thursday night.
“We have strong hitters,” said Rock Creek coach Jennifer Brown. “Ligia Williams is an amazing athlete.”
Just under three months ago, Williams was representing the Lions as a sophomore at the state track and field meet. Now, she’s capping a pass, set and kill offense that helps set the tone for Rock Creek.
“It can help throughout the game,” Williams said of a kill. “It can be a chain reaction.”
Jeffersonville, playing short-handed, didn’t have an answer for the Class A squad playing before a raucous home crowd.
“We had some inexperience on the court,” said Jeffersonville coach Wes Briscoe. “They have not been in this kind of heated environment.”
It was closely contested early in the first set. Rock Creek held a 9-8 lead before going on a 10-1 run to take control. The Red Devils had stayed close early on with aces by Alyvia Luce and Elliot Mays combined with a kill by Alayna Lacy to make it a one point deficit.
Aces by Rock Creek’s Morgan Schmidt and Bailey Brown helped the Lions to a 15-9 lead. Kills by Lajoy Williams and Ligia Williams, followed by a Brown ace, made it 19-9. It was 23-14 when kills by Leah Thompson and Schmidt iced the 25-15 first set win.
The Red Devils looked to even it up in the second set and had the lead late before Rock Creek closed strong to take a two set lead.
Lacy led the way for the Red Devils in the second, putting Jeff on top three separate times late in the set. Her ace made it 13-12, she followed that with kills for an 18-17 and 23-22 lead.
On the verge of tying the match, the Red Devils put a shot into the net to tie it at 23. Rock Creek’s Thompson followed that with an ace for set point and a block of a Ligia Williams kill attempt went wide. Three straight points for the Lions ended the set at 25-23.
“It’s so important to start strong,” coach Brown said of the first set. “That second set, they [Jeff] came out to play.”
Rock Creek looked to put a quick end to the Red Devils in the third set, but Jeff was having none of it. The Lions got on top early as Ligia Williams had five kills, two on assists by Brown, on the way to a 17-7 lead.
Jeff fought back. A pair of kills by Lacy and an ace by Erynn Dickson paced the Red Devils to within striking distance – down 20-15. It got as close as four (21-17) when Ligia Williams had a kill, a block with Lajoy Williams and another kill to make it match point. Moments later, the Lions had won the third set 25-17.
“Rock Creek won in typical fashion,” said Briscoe. “And we didn’t put ourselves in a position to swing [on the front line].”
That said, with some key players returning soon and a long season ahead, Briscoe seemed pleased by what his team did in front of a loud, partisan Lions crowd.
“We didn’t lay down,” he said.
Rock Creek (4-0) got 34 assists from Brown. Thompson had 12 kills and three aces. Jeffersonville (1-3) was paced by Lacy, who filled the stat sheet eight kills, seven assists and seven digs.
ROCK CREEK 3, JEFFERSONVILLE 0
Jeffersonville 15 23 17
Rock Creek 25 25 25
Stat leaders: Kills – Ligia Williams (RC) 12, Leah Thompson (RC) 12, Alayna Lacy (J) 8; Assists – Bailey Brown (RC) 34; Lacy (J) 7; Aces – Thompson (RC) 3; Digs – Lacy (J) 7.