Curtain comes down on Lady Raiders’ volleyball
by RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
Oct 09, 2013 | 1031 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LADY RAIDERS’ HITTER Marissa Langford goes for a kill against the Lady Owls of Ooltewah during the District 5-AAA volleyball semifinals Tuesday, at Ooltewah High School.
Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
LADY RAIDERS’ HITTER Marissa Langford goes for a kill against the Lady Owls of Ooltewah during the District 5-AAA volleyball semifinals Tuesday, at Ooltewah High School. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
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OOLTEWAH — The up-one-minute, down-the-next volleyball season hit one final down note Tuesday for the Cleveland Lady Raiders. Cleveland battled hard to stay alive in the District 5-AAA tournament but was no match for Ooltewah, falling in three games to the Lady Owls.

The loss to Ooltewah lowered the curtains on what has been a sometimes topsy-turvy volleyball campaign for the Lady Raiders, who finished the season with a 22-22 record.

“I think we played better against Ooltewah than we have all season. Of all the times we have faced them this is the best we have played against them,” said Cleveland coach Patricia flowers after her final postgame debriefing of the season. “Those moments when we got on runs just proved that Ooltewah, like any other team, can be beaten if you stick to the game plan.”

The Lady Raiders dropped a 25-15 decision in game one, then fought hard to overtake the Lady Owls in game two before coming out on the short end of a 25-21 score. Cleveland led game three before falling behind and battling back to tie game three before losing a close 35-23 decision.

Marissa Langford closed out her volleyball career at Cleveland with 15 kills and digs. KK Clements served up two aces for the Lady Raiders and fielded 17 receptions

The Lady Raiders will work to replace departing seniors Langford, Clements and Aneisha Barber, regroup over the offseason and try to make another run at a district championship in 2014.

“We had such a solid senior group. We had an amazing senior class. They all fit together and complemented one another. I think if we just had maybe a couple more pieces to the puzzle we would have been a little more dangerous this year. But, I am so proud of their effort,” said Flowers.

“I feel like if we had played Ooltewah one more time we would be ready for them. Ooltewah is a really good team, and even with our game plan they would still have been very hard to beat.”