The Lady Lions entered league play on Tuesday (Oct. 1) with a 4-3 preseason record and a respectable showing on Saturday (Sept. 28) at a tournament in Quincy.
The varsity squad went 2-2 in Quincy and looked good even in the matches it lost, coach Christine Scott said. The girls were a little sluggish in the 9 a.m. match at Quincy, after departing for the tournament at 5:30 a.m., but still they defeated Mabton 2-0. Hazel Culpsmith, a freshman on the junior varsity squad, delivered the match-winning serve with an ace.
Joslyn Rispone, a sophomore who divides her time between varsity and JV squads, was solid in the right-front position vs. Mabton, her coach said.
Scott continued to mix things up in Match 2 at Quincy, moving Caitlyn Cooley to left-front with good results: three kills to go with two aces on serve. Liberty Bell defeated Warden 2-1 in the second match.
Sophomore Jadyn Mitchell had eight kills and two aces against Quincy in the third match, but the 2A squad got the better of Liberty Bell, 2-0.
Mitchell, a team leader and its biggest offensive threat, played well throughout the tournament but especially in the fourth and final match vs. Omak, Scott said.
The Lady Lions lost 2-0 to 1A Omak but Scott was pleased with their level of play. Margins of defeat were six points in the first game, two in the second.
“Probably the best we played so far this season,” the coach said.
Saturday’s match against Omak certainly was better than Liberty Bell’s performance against the same Lady Pioneers on Sept. 24. Liberty Bell fell to Omak 3-0 that night, and Scott had little positive to say about that contest.
The next night, at home against 1A Okanogan, Liberty Bell lost again, 3-0, but Scott has happier with the girls’ play.
Freshman Ellie Bank started for the second night in a row on Sept. 25 and conducted herself well.
“She’s doing well. It comes naturally to her,” Scott said.
Thursday at Bridgeport, Liberty Bell rebounded from consecutive losses by defeating the Lady Mustangs 3-0 in what was their third match in three nights.
Liberty Bell used the Bridgeport match to work on the fundamentals of setter/hitter offense, Scott said.
McKenna Ott had a career best 12 straight serves at one point against Bridgeport and finished the night with four aces.
League play started with Tuesday’s match (Oct. 1) at home against Lake Roosevelt. The Lady Lions travel to Oroville Thursday (Oct. 3) and host Manson Tuesday (Oct. 8).