Several Evans High School volleyball players made the quick trip to Greenbrier High School on Wednesday night to watch two of their rivals play. Greenbrier faced Lakeside in the Lady Panthers' first game of the season.
The Evans girls cheered for both teams throughout the night. Though there wasn't a clear-cut favorite before the match started, Evans senior Lauren Middleton had an idea of what she might see.
"It'll be close, but if Amy (Burress) is on, Lakeside's going to win," she said.
Middleton's prediction was dead on, as Lakeside defeated Greenbrier in a 2-1 victory that saw Burress tally 17 kills in a come-from-behind win.
In the first match, Greenbrier wasted no time defending their home court. After taking a 3-2 lead on an Amanda O'Neal kill, the Lady Wolfpack cruised to a big advantage, stopped only by a Lakeside time out. By then, Greenbrier held a 16-6 lead.
"That first game is how we've played in practice. Everybody clicked," O'Neal said.
The Lady Wolfpack fought off a late Lakeside push and claimed a 25-18 win in the first game. That's when Lakeside woke up.
The Lady Panthers, riding the momentum, gained from a 5-0 run near the end of the first game, turned the tables on Greenbrier and grabbed a 3-2 lead on a Burress kill to start Game 2. Lakeside led by as much as 14 points in the game before stopping a late Greenbrier rally to take a 25-17 Lakeside win.
The rubber match mirrored the second game as the Lady Panthers took a 4-3 lead and never looked back. Lakeside's Kristina Mize ended the match with an ace on the final serve for a 25-12 win.
"The girls started out slow but then just became a new team after a couple of minutes," Lakeside volleyball coach Keri Smith said.
Lakeside's Emily Allen recorded 16 assists in the game; most led directly to Burress' kills. In the two matches Lakeside played Wednesday night, Burress totalled 24 kills.
"Sometimes the game plan is just get the ball to Amy," Smith said. "She's a versatile player. I tell her she's the complete package."
The loss was the first of the year for Greenbrier. The Lady Wolfpack rebounded to beat Clarke Central in its second game of the night and will face Aquinas High School and Glenn Hills High School on the road Tuesday.
After Lakeside beat Greenbrier on Wednesday night, the Lady Panthers went on to knock off Clarke Central in a 2-1 win. Lakeside will next face Evans on the road at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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