ATHENS — For the fifth time this season, the Lady Raiders pulled off a sweep on the volleyball court. Cleveland ran its season record to 12-8 and stayed perfect in District 5-3A with a 3-0 win over …
ATHENS — For the fifth time this season, the Lady Raiders pulled off a sweep on the volleyball court. Cleveland ran its season record to 12-8 and stayed perfect in District 5-3A with a 3-0 win over McMinn County Tuesday.
The Lady Raiders, 5-0 in district volleyball, walked away with wins of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-13 over the Lady Cherokees.
The win over the Tribe (3-7, 0-5 District 5-3A) was a final tune-up before getting on with the second half of the season beginning with a huge battle Thursday against Walker Valley. The Lady Raiders survived a five-set brawl with the Lady Mustangs in their first meeting and will be looking for the season sweep.
“We are still learning a lot about our team. We are at the halfway point so we are looking closely at stats. We are looking at percentages and we are looking at how we are losing points in each rally. This is about the time we do that. Hopefully, we will get better,” said Lady Raiders coach Trish Flowers.
“Thursday, playing Walker Valley at their place will be a huge test of if we have even improved since the last time we played them.”
Cleveland got off to slow start in the first set, breaking a 7-7 tie with a kill by Emma Flowers who finished the night with 20 kills. Sofia Lakatosh finished the five point run with a kill to give the Lady Raiders a 12-7 lead. Nicole Glaser kept Cleveland out front by five with a kill and an ace from Anna Renshaw made it 21-12. A final kill by Lily Oliver sewed up the first set win for the visitors.
Flowers also had 14 digs on the night along with Hannah Longley who also finished with 14. Renshaw served up five aces for the Lady Raiders while Joy Douglas had three. Flowers and Lakatosh had one ace each.
The Lady Raiders jumped to a 15-5 lead in the second set and pushed the advantage to 21-10 with a Flowers kill. Oliver followed three straight Flowers kills with one of her own to make it 2-0 with a 25-12 win.
Renshaw opened the final set with back-to-back aces, and Joy Douglass followed with back-to-back-to-back aces to give the Lady Raiders an 11-6 lead. Lakatosh made it 16-8 with an ace and kills by Cydney Brock and Renshaw put the game out of reach minutes later at 24-12. Brock closed the night with a final kill to lock up the sweep for the Lady Raiders.
Flowers said the power is a good thing to have but steady, dependable play is what she is looking for most of all.
“It feels good to have a power hitter on our side of the net but to be honest we need to get a little more consistent in the back row. Our passing has got to be a little more consistent,” she said.
After the win inside the Raider Arena, the Lady Raiders know they will have their hands full but are hoping their history of solid play inside “The Stable” will continue when the teams meet for the second time.
“They will be looking for us Thursday. They will be looking to pull off a win for sure. We've always played better at Walker Valley, it's kind of odd. We played very well against Walker Valley in the district tournament at Walker Valley. We played very well at Walker Valley when we've played them in the regular season. So, we will see. Thursday will be a test.”
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