Lafayette captures second-straight volleyball state title
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:53 p.m.
KISSIMMEE — Two years ago Lafayette had no playoff victories in volleyball. On Friday, the Hornets picked up their second state title in 365 days.
Lafayette jumped on Liberty County from the get-go, sprinting out to a 13-1 first-set lead and never looked back, sweeping the Bulldogs 25-8, 25-19, 25-22 to capture its second straight Class 1A state title at the Silver Spurs Arena.
The win comes exactly one year from when the Hornets swept Baker 3-0 to win their first state volleyball title. Lafayette (25-0), which also won the 2012 1A softball state title, has now won three state titles in a year. Before 2011, the last Hornets state title came in football in 1981.
“It is almost surreal right now, kind of like it is unbelievable that it happened,” said Lafayette coach Sonya Land. “It's awesome. It's a great feeling.”
The Hornets didn't just win it all, they dominated their season, winning 24 of their 25 matches by 3-0 shutouts. Newberry was the only team to win a set over Lafayette, which also extended its win streak to 45 straight matches.
“These girls for some reason, whether we are up or down, know how to come together as a team and come through,” Land said. “We did have that one bad set at Newberry, but I think that was probably good for us to lose that one. We knew we didn't want to lose any more.”
Senior hitter Lindsay O'Steen once again led the way for the Hornets with 17 kills and 17 digs. Junior libero Lydia Land had 29 digs and senior setter Kaleigh Law had 27 assists and 10 digs.
The Bulldogs (23-3) made the match more competitive in the second and third sets, but still never led the entire game. Every time Liberty County looked like it was going to make a run at Lafayette, the Hornets answered.
With the score tied at 23-all in the third, Sydney Barry scored off a block and a kill to end the match for Lafayette.
“It is a great feeling,” said O'Steen, who is also a standout softball pitcher and hitter. “When I'm old and gray I will talk more about it.”
The Hornets will lose six seniors from this championship team. Lydia Land, the coach's daughter and one of the four juniors on the squad, can't believe what they have accomplished.
“Watching my sisters grow up, they were in state championships a couple of times, I said to myself, I want to be there,” she said. “That's my dream, that's my goal. To have three now I get to rub it in their faces a little bit. I never dreamed this would come true as a little kid.”
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.