Bearettes serve up 21 aces in sweep of Tribe

By JOE CANNON
Posted 9/10/19

It wasn't exactly "all or nothing" for the Bradley Central volleyball servers Tuesday evening, but one shot was all they needed a good part of the match.

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Bearettes serve up 21 aces in sweep of Tribe

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It wasn't exactly "all or nothing" for the Bradley Central volleyball servers Tuesday evening, but one shot was all they needed a good part of the match.

The Bearettes drilled an amazing 21 aces, including the first service point in each of the  three sets in a District 5-AAA sweep of McMinn County at Jim Smiddy Arena

"We started off kind of slow, but when we started getting into a good flow with our serving, we started playing better," stated veteran Bradley coach Christie McElhaney after the 25-15, 25-15, 25-10 drubbing.

"We were able to make some good runs and and we only gave up one four-point run and three three-point runs.

"We still had three service errors in the first set and five in the second, but only one in the final set," she related.

"We had 21 aces tonight. That's was almost a third of our points (75). We had 17 the other night against Ooltewah, even though we had a lot more service errors in that match (last Thursday)."

Bradley will turn right around and host Soddy-Daisy in a non-district match this evening, with varsity play to start at 6:30, following the freshman and JV matches.

"We've got Soddy-Daisy coming in … (tonight), so they'll be a good test for for us," McElhaney remarked. "This weekend we have the River City Rumble at Baylor."

Bradley junior Riley Sermons started Tuesday's match off with the first of her four aces on the evening, but the girls from Athens were able to pull out to 5-2 and 7-4 edges.

The Bearettes retook the lead when junior Kelsey Carman smoked back-to-back aces as part of an 8-2 run by the hosts.

McMinn's best run of the evening (four points) put the girls from Athens back ahead (13-12) momentarily before the Bearettes regained the serve on a monster kill by 6-foot-2 junior Anna Muhonen.

Carman then stepped behind the line for a five straight winners, including back-to-back aces of her own to spark a 13-2 run to claim the opening set.

After an unforced error by the hosts gave the Tribe the opening point of the second set, the visitors returned the favor with a service error.

Getting the first serve for the Bearettes in the set was Abigail Leonard and she delivered three aces in four service points. The sophomore led the Bradley service attack with seven aces on the evening.

Pulling out to 5-1, 10-3 naad 14-4 leads, the hosts never looked back, sealing the second set with another four-point Leonard run, including two more unreturnable serves.

Six-foot-two senior Kierstyn Viola put the capper on the set with a kill.

Sermons opened the final set with her last ace of the evening. Leonard then helped out with her third four-point or better run, that included another ace as Bradley pulled up 6-1.

After the teams traded the next four points, sophomore Ashlan Crittenden stepped behind the stripe for a seven straight service points, including a pair of aces. 

The run also included four kills, including a slam dunk (a kill off the opposition getting the ball too close to the net), by Carman. She led the Bearettes with a dozen kills in the contest, plus had a trio of digs and three aces.

The final Bradley run of the night came off Sermons' serves with a half-dozen straight to set up match point. The match ended on a McMinn serve into the net.

Along with her strong serving, Sermons handed out 16 assists and had a half-dozen digs.

Crittenden dished off 11 helps, downed a pair of blocks, as well as adding another two blocks that kept the ball in play. She also had four digs, a pair of kills and a trio of aces.

Leonard dug out eight Tribe shots to go with her seven service aces, while Muhonen slammed home a half-dozen kills and had a couple of digs.

Senior libero Taylor White collected five digs and a trio of aces, while Viola drilled four kills, blocked three McMinn shots for points, plus added two more she blocked in play.

Sophomore Calli Elrod helped out with a trio of kills and three digs, while classmate Mary B. Smith dug out four shots, had a kill and an ace.

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