Baby Cougars Are Growing Up; Coker, Kueken Lead JV Comeback

Forget the rally caps. That’s not their style.

Lafayette Christian’s young, inexperienced and never say die junior varsity volleyball girls got off the floor and out of their comfort zone. The Lady Cougars were hard pressed. The LCS girls found themselves behind 4-0 and then 8-4 against Hearts Academy in the second set of their volleyball match on Thursday afternoon in the Cougar gymnasium.

The girls from LCS were in a funk and out of sorts on the court. This was no time to panic, but it was time to connect all the volleyball dots. The Lady Cougars did that with the help of Katie Kueken and eighth grade middle blocker Savannah Coker. Lafayette Christian could have easily lost the second set.

But the Lady Cougars did not. They rallied behind Coker and Kueken and won the second game, 25-20 with very little to spare. The Lafayette Christian JV is growing up. The LCS girls won the second set as well as the match.

The Lady Cougars netted a 2-0 victory, having already won the first set, 25-8 over the Lady Panthers from Hearts Academy. Lafayette Christian was on top of its game in the first set and coming from behind in the second game. The LCS girls covered the entire volleyball gamut.

But the bottom line is – the Lady Cougars found a way to win. And there was nothing simple or easy about this junior varsity triumph.

“The main key was a lot of hustle. Our girls served hard, and we played with confidence,” said Rene Gomez, the head coach of the Lafayette Christian junior varsity.

Game No. 2 of the afternoon was there for the taking. Hearts Academy from Powder Springs led early and often. But the Lady Cougars got back into contention as they scored the next seven points. Coker slammed the ball for a kill. Kueken served three straight aces.

The Lafayette Christian JV led 11-8 and not too long after that by a 13-11 count. The second set was still destined to be deadlocked at 13-13. But LCS got another series of aces with the help of Sarah Blair Atkins as the match proceeded. The Lady Cougars burned some volleyball rubber with a 17-13 lead.

Coker also scored a kill late in the second game for a 20-15 LCS advantage. Another Lady Cougar ace would follow that, along with the second volleyball win of the season for Lafayette Christian. The LCS girls have a 2-6 junior varsity record. Hearts Academy is now 0-7.

The Lady Cougars were rocking and clocking in the first set, too. Freshman Yuna Jeong led LCS from an early one-point deficit to a 13-5 lead. Jeong had a total of eight service aces in the first game of the match.

“I just put the ball over the net and scored some points,” said Jeong.

The Lafayette Christian girls went on a 12-3 run after that in the second set. Coker and Lady Cougar sophomore Uirim Jin were flexing and aceing. Volleyball winners were not hard to come by for LCS in the first game or late in the second set.


Chris Fernsler Sports Writer