It took the Lady Flames just under an hour to up their Southern States Athletics Conference record to 11-1 and send the Faulkner Lady Eagles back to Alabama with a 3-0 loss.
Lee (19-7) recovered in a big way from last week’s loss to Shorter with straight set wins of 25-12, 25-9 and 25-10.
“We lost last Thursday to Shorter and we haven’t lost in a while. It was a tough match,” Lady Flames coach Andrea Hudson said of the rare defeat. “We needed to come back with some freshness and come back with some of the things we have been working on to get better going into postseason. It was good to kind of see some of that come together. It was also good to play some other people, some other kids we might be using in postseason. It was really nice to have them in there.”
Lee took control of Game 1 early and led 5-0 before Faulkner came up with its first point of the night. The Lady Eagles held on for a short while before a kill by Paula Martins sparked a run that put the Lady Flames up 17-8.
Kills by Irene Ojukwu and Lauren Williams locked up the 25-12 win.
Faulkner tied the second game at 2-2 before Ojukwu and company took over to run up leads of 9-3 and 15-5. Martins served up an ace to make it 20-6 and minutes later, Patty Orozco and Ojukwu blasted kills to end the match.
Ojukwu led the Lady Flames with 16 kills. She was followed by Martins with 11.
“She (Ojukwu) really played well tonight. We’ve been working with her a little bit on [having] more control when she is attacking. I think tonight she had a chance to experiment and try some different shots. She did well. I am proud of her,” said Hudson.
The Lady Eagles took a brief lead in the finale before Martins tied the game at 3-3 and the Lady Flames raced on to a 9-3 advantage. Back-to-back-to-back kills and an ace by Ojukwu combined with a kill from Martins made it 14-4.
Lee led 20-8 when Kalyn Helton, Ojukwu and Orozco slammed balls to the floor for a 24-8 Lady Flames lead. Ojukwu closed out the night with a soft dink to give Lee the 3-0 win.
“I see that we can kind of get relaxed and they don’t play as hard as they need to,” said Hudson of her young group of Lady Flames. “But, they are learning. This is a whole new group and they are learning as we are getting later into the season that they can’t do that. They can’t turn it off for a couple of plays. They’ve got to stay focused. I think they regrouped pretty well tonight.”