Top-ranked Walton (16-2, 6-0) had more errors than it would have preferred, especially when the Lady Raiders had to play from behind in the second set.
Meanwhile, Lassiter’s first-set woes allowed Walton to run away with the victory.
The Lady Trojans (11-18, 1-1) didn’t perform well on serve-receive in the first set, giving Walton too many quick service points and free balls to finish off. The Lady Raiders cruised to a 10-point lead at 18-9 and held on.
“We got beat by a better team, but we didn’t play our best,” Lassiter coach Greg Hodge said. “We need to pass well to run our offense, and we didn’t pass well in the first set. That gives us something to work on.”
After Lassiter adjusted in the second set, the Lady Raiders went through their slump where a couple of service faults and passing errors allowed Lassiter to build a 14-12 lead.
Walton managed to work its way back, tying the second set at 14-all on a tip by setter Celeste Fitzgerald. An ace by Kate Schwartz gave the Lady Raiders the lead, but she then committed Walton’s fourth serving error of the set, allowing Lassiter to tie at 15.
The Lady Raiders then needed a service run to take charge and ended up getting one when Chloe Cook served four points to give team a 20-15 lead. Her run started with an ace down the left side of the court. Then, she hit an ace untouched as a result of a communication error on Lassiter’s back row.
A serve-receive error by the Lady Trojans followed before Anouska Best came through with a kill.
Lassiter got a sideout on Becca Ledford’s kill off the first pass, and it came through with a combined block by Ledford and Grace Kehely to bring the Lady Trojans within three points at 20-17.
From that point on, however, it was mostly Walton.
The Lady Raiders built a 24-18 lead on a Cook kill, and a soft serve by Fitzgerald on match point caught Lassiter off guard.
“We responded well once it was (16-15), but we were more disappointed in our passing than what we showed in the last part of the second set,” Walton coach Suzanne Fitzgerald said. “We didn’t pass well, and we didn’t serve well, but we’re working on it. We’ll get there.”
Cook led Walton with six kills. Jessica Sloan added five more, and Morgan Patterson finished with four. Leah Jackson came through with two solo blocks, while Celeste Fitzgerald finished with 20 assists.
For Lassiter, Ledford had four hills, and Ellen Handlan finished with eight assists. Sam Link had two aces.
The Lady Trojans also had their troubles in their next match against Marietta, but they fought through and prevailed 26-24, 25-21.
Lassiter faced six set points against the Lady Blue Devils. After getting the sideout, Handlan served out six straight service points to win it.
Walton beat Marietta 25-10, 25-11 in the first match of the day.
Cook led with eight kills, and Sloan had seven. Walton had eight aces in the match, with Lindsay Seagraves leading at three.