In a strange way, Lafayette's win over Lexington Catholic was a mirror of the Generals' season overall: The No. 19 Generals had a slow start, but they managed to get some flow at the end.
Playing against tough competition, Lafayette lost six straight matches early in the season, but after a 27-25, 25-14 win over the host Knights on Tuesday night, Lafayette has now won seven straight and is looking to keep improving.
"It took a long time, but we finally got into a rhythm," senior middle hitter Cat Starr said in reference to the contest Tuesday, but it could have just as easily described the season so far.
But a recent win over district foe Tates Creek has the Generals believing they could be dangerous at the end.
"We've got some momentum going and proved to ourselves that we can do something this year," said Starr, who led the Generals with eight kills and three blocked shots.
Lafayette started the first game in a 9-5 hole before using a 6-1 run to grab the lead.
The lead ballooned to 18-13 before Catholic came roaring back, even taking a 24-23 edge before Starr took over.
The senior had a part in two pivotal blocks and a kill to win the first game 27-25.
"We came into the game a little shaky, but once we figured out their blocks and stuff, we were able to get some momentum and be ourselves," said fellow senior Katie King, who had four kills and a block in the win.
That figuring-out process in the first game was key to an easier road for the Generals in the second game, in which they broke open a close 8-7 edge with a 7-2 rally.
Neither team was able to build much momentum throughout the game.
Numerous service mistakes and unforced court errors would crush momentum as it built on both sides.
"It was tough to get a flow for both teams," Lafayette Coach Chris Langston said. "I'm not sure (the Knights) were ever able to get into their flow because I've seen them play some really good games."
Errors definitely spelled doom for the Knights, who graduated eight seniors and returned just two players with any kind of varsity experience this season.
"Lafayette is bigger and faster than us," Coach Mark McCloskey said. "We just made too many errors in the second game and couldn't take advantage of theirs."
The Knights were led by Emily Dalton's three kills. Three other players had two kills each in the loss.
Langston was glad to see his team, which has six seniors, finally start to click.
"We figured things out in the second game," Langston said. "That's the thing we're finally doing: making adjustments midway through the first game, and then it's showing in the second game.
"Finally. With this many seniors we should have done this sooner, but now is better than never."
It was the first time these two neighboring schools — just 1.05 miles apart — have played since 2005 and the first time they've met in the regular season in this decade.
At Lexington Catholic
Lafayette def. Lexington Catholic 27-25, 25-14.
Records — Lafayette 9-6, Lexington Catholic 5-7.