Lee Tops Lenox in Battle of Unbeatens

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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LENOX, Mass. -- One coach did not recognize his own team.
The other got exactly what he expected.
Bailey Thomas had eight kills, and Suriana Lee had 27 assists and six aces Friday to lead the Lee volleyball team to a 25-17, 25-17, 25-12 win over Lenox in a battle of unbeatens.
Afterward, Millionaires coach Bessena Cabe said it was a very different Lenox team from the one that won its first nine matches.
“I think we were a little nervous,” Cabe said. “Some of our players weren’t playing the way they have all year.
“It was a completely different team. But I understand. It’s one of those nights.”
The Wildcats have a lot of nights like Friday.
“We have a pretty potent offense, and that was pretty evident today,” Lee coach John Warner said. “We forced a lot of errors on their part, which is good. I was pretty pleased with our performance today.”
Warner bristled a little at the suggestion that the perennial county power elevated its game against a neighborhood rival with a 9-0 record.
“We’ve been playing really good volleyball,” Warner said. “This wasn’t a ‘step up.’ This is our game, actually. We’re playing good ball right now.”
The Wildcats set the tone early when Lee served four straight points to gave the Wildcats a 5-1 first-set lead that they never relinquished.
The Millionaires drew within two when Kayanna Black’s ace capped a four-point run to make it 10-8.
But Lee got the serve back, Ahna Schlaefer (seven kills, three aces) served three straight points, and the Millionaires never got closer than five points the rest of the set.
Schlaefer’s serve was the turning point of the second set. She took the ball with her team ahead, 6-3, and served six straight points to open a nine-point margin. Lenox got to within five at 19-14 before the Wildcats were able to put it away.
Lee closed the match the way it began it, with Suriana Lee delivering a big run on serve.
Late in the third, she took the ball with a 17-9 lead and served six straight points, the last coming on a Lydia Morawiec kill to make it 23-9.
Lenox got a side out and earned a couple of points on BomBee Lahart’s serve, but that was all the Millionaires could get.
Anna Wang had 16 digs Morawiec had seven kills to go with seven digs.
Riley Burke had eight digs, two kills and two aces for Lenox, which got three aces and three digs from Kasey Valley. Anna Lynch gave the Millionaires seven digs.
“We get to play them again,” Cabe said. “We saw how they’re picking our holes and finding our weaknesses. We just have to go back in the gym and work on those things.”
Lee goes to Pittsfield on Tuesday while Lenox hosts Taconic. The Millionaires visit the Wildcats on Oct. 16.
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