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Volleyball: Lambert dominates Parkview, sets up showdown with Walton
Lambert players celebrate Saturday after sweeping Parkview 3-0 in the Class 7A Sweet Sixteen. - photo by Noah Rubin

It was a dominant performance in every sense of the word.

Lambert swept Parkview 3-0 on Saturday, winning the sets 25-10, 25-11, and 25-8. The Longhorns scored at will and made it look easy.

Head coach Missey Hall was proud of the way her team came out and executed the game plan.

“It was a real complete match for us,” Hall said. “I was really excited to see them come out from beginning to end and play a complete match. The offense ran really smoothly today. Claire [Jenkins] distributed the ball to so many different hitters. We had so many people with kills. That’s what we’re wanting to do is really distribute the ball more evenly so we’re not so heavy and can get the blockers moving on the other side.”

The impressive showing advances Lambert to the state quarterfinals, where the Longhorns will face the winner of Walton/Etowah. Despite how well they’ve played, Hall and her team plan to continue to take it one game at a time, which has worked out well for them thus far.

“We don’t talk about [a state championship],” Hall said. “We made a vision board at the beginning of the season and that’s always our vision, but you’ve got to respect every single opponent you face, and I never try to look too far ahead. This was our focus for today. Now we’ll focus on Tuesday.”

Last season, Lambert lost to Alpharetta in the state semifinals 3-2. They played that match without current junior Ella Beyer, who is committed to play at Virginia Tech, due to COVID-19 protocols.

This year, they have their full lineup healthy, which is something Hall hopes to maintain.

“It’s nice to have everyone, however, we seem to be getting scares every week with aches and pains, things that are happening,” Hall said. “Keeping everybody healthy is of the utmost importance right now.”

Beyer finished with 10 kills, while senior Taylor Nelson had a team-high 14 kills. Molly Kate Patten added nine kills and Dani Cortes had seven. It was a full team effort to win the match so convincingly.

“It was a complete game,” Hall said. “I think Claire did a really good job of distributing the ball. Fran [Popescu] was on point with her passing. I really think that Taylor did a really good job with a complete game. Defense, passing, her shot selection was wonderful as well. Everybody played beautifully.”

Lambert will play their quarterfinal match on Tuesday.