It s been a tough couple of days for the Lady Raiders on the volleyball court. After falling in a District 5-3A match against Walker Valley on Tuesday, Cleveland stepped out of district against East …
Even in a loss, head coach Patricia Flowers saw positive play from the Lady Raiders.
“This was way better than the Walker Valley match. It was fun to watch. It was fun to see our team adjust and get better. East Hamilton was good. They have two Emmas,” said Flowers referring to departed Cleveland standout Lady Raider Emma Flowers, currently at Lincoln Memorial.
“I’m proud of the way they came back and fought. We feel like East Hamilton had to earn this win after that first set.”
Set scores were 15-25, 18-25, 25-21, 20-25.
East Hamilton never trailed in set one and led the entirety of set two, with the exception of three early ties. Cleveland led briefly twice in the final set, but was forced to play behind the rest of the way after East Ham broke an 8-8 tie.
The Lady Raiders avoided the sweep with a solid win in the third set, when they controlled the game from start to finish.
Katie McGinnis helped Cleveland to a 4-0 lead with back-to-back aces. Anna Renshaw served up an ace to make it 4-3. Minutes later, Renshaw came through with three straight kills to put Cleveland out front 15-9. Momentum stayed on the side of the Lady Raiders with a Lilly Oliver kill to make it a 20-14 game. After trading points with East Hamilton, Oliver blocked a point attempt to give Cleveland a 24-17 advantage. The Lady Hurricanes rallied back for four points, but a serve out of bounds gave the Lady Raiders the win.
McGinnis finished with 11 digs, three aces and two kills earning praise from Flowers.
“We did a lineup tonight we haven’t practiced at all, and it proved effective,” said the Cleveland coach. What it also did was show us what we already know and that is Katie McGinnis has to be on the court. Katie McGinnis has earned a 'look at' because she continues to perform.”
Renshaw led the Lady Raiders with 12 kills with three aces and 10 digs. Lydia Martin led the digs category with 14 while Joy Douglass matched McGinnis with 11.
The Lady Raiders will be in Alpharetta, Ga., this weekend for tournament play in the Georgia Challenge.
“I don’t feel like we’re taking teams for granted, but I feel like we have some weaknesses that need to be worked out and they are being worked out,” Flowers emphasized. “We’re starting to make starting decisions, but we’ve got to be able to put the ball down consistently. We don’t have that right now.”
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