Lee volleyball coach Michelle Haynes wasn’t sure how to read her team Thursday night before its opening-round match in the Division II playoffs.
With the sixth-seeded Patriots taking control from the start, it didn’t take long for Haynes’ uncertainty to turn into satisfaction as Lee only needed an hour to dispatch No. 27 Riverdale 3-0 (25-6, 25-6 and 25-14).
“I had to wait to see how they would play at the start,” Haynes said after her team improved to 33-3. “Nobody had too much to say (before the match). It was kind of spooky because you never really know.”
Once the match started Haynes had no worries. The Rebels put away Riverdale (16-13) by the same score, 25-6, in the first and second sets.
Lee led 6-3 in the first set, and took control winning 18 of the next 19 points. Trinity Bell had two kills and a block to lead the Rebels in the first set.
In the second set, Lee raced out to an 11-2 lead and didn’t look back. Jordan Coates had three kills and Chassidy Robertson had two for the Patriots.
The third set was played on even terms early. Nadia Cohen and Maelyn Forestier each had kills for the Rebels, who took a 6-4 lead. Lee scored the next three points, but a service error brought Riverdale back into a tie at 7-7.
Lee responded by winning 11 of the following 13 points, and eventually built a 20-11 lead. The teams traded points before a Riverdale hitting error ended the 25-14 set win for Lee.
Haynes noted the play of setter Johnice Hubbard, who had 20 assists.
“(Johnice) settled down, and she did a good job distributing the ball to her teammates. I’m very proud of her,” Haynes said.
Coates finished with six kills and three digs, Robertson had six kills and two digs and McKenzy Ellis pitched in with six kills and three blocks. Bell and Diamond Holliday each contributed five kills and three blocks.
Lee, which finished first in Division II-4 with a 5-0 record, advances to regional-round play where it will face district rival McKinley. The No. 11 seed, McKinley defeated No. 22 Haughton 3-0 on Thursday.
Lee won 3-1 at McKinley on Oct. 16.
“We’ll just have to settle down and get back to work,” Haynes said of her team’s next match.