The Lady Raiders may not have been as sharp against Walker Valley as they were against GPS, but they were sharp enough for three sets to stay undefeated in district volleyball with a 3-1 win inside …
The Lady Raiders may not have been as sharp against Walker Valley as they were against GPS, but they were sharp enough for three sets to stay undefeated in district volleyball with a 3-1 win inside Raider Arena Tuesday.
Cleveland (22-6, 4-0 District 5-AAA) won set one by a 25-17 margin and battled back from an 8-0 deficit in the second set before falling 25-21 to the Lady Mustangs (2-2, 5-8). The Lady Raiders came back with a 25-12 win in the third set and closed out the night with a 25-11 victory.
“We were not as sharp tonight as we were last night,” said Lady Raiders coach Amy McGowan. “We want to focus on not giving people a lot of points in a row, when you spot somebody nine points it's going to be hard to make that up. When we do that it's like we are constantly fighting to get back in the game.”
The Lady Mustangs, who were playing with an injured Maggie Harness, controlled the second set with an 8-0 opening lead and held off a late run from Cleveland to take the win.
“The second game looked better than a lot of games we've played this year. We started off strong and passed well,” said Lady Mustangs coach Aubrey Reagan. “I still felt like we tapered off a little at the end. We were just trying to withstand them rather than be aggressive.”
The Lady Raiders struggled a bit with consistent passing, but were again solid at the service line with Amanda Estrada, Brianna Daniel, Elliot Brock, Katie McGinnis and Lily Oliver all serving up aces.
Joy Douglass led the way for Cleveland with 12 kills while Oliver followed up with nine and Claire Brusky ended with eight. McGinnis also had a big night in the assist category with 20. Daniel reached double figures with 11.
“I felt like our serving was good again tonight. Our passing was a little off. When our passing is off we struggle. I think that's the same way with everything. If you can't pass with our game you can't run an offense. We struggled a little bit.”
The Lady Mustangs got a huge effort at the net from Melody McCree and Jia Weathersby, who sent blistering kill shots to the floor. McCree ended her night with nine kills while Weathersby was one back with eight
Sophie Frederick sent three aces over for the Lady Mustangs and Victoria Walker finished with two. Walker also helped out with 17 assists and Frederick booked an even dozen.
“She gets better every time we play," Reagan said of middle hitter Weathersby. "She gets up big pressing blocks and she hits the ball hard. She wants to get better. That's exciting. She has really, really worked hard."
The Lady Mustangs will work on becoming more consistent this weekend in Sevierville at the Rocky Top tournament.
“We're still kind of in the situation where we've got a lot of kids playing. We've got 14 on the roster and played 12 tonight," Reagan said. "We are trying to find consistent effort. You do yourself a disservice when you pour it all into one game and the other games are flat.”
The Lady Raiders plan to take some time off and recover from a grueling week of volleyball.
“We are going to rest,” said McGowan.” We've played a lot of volleyball. We are going to rest and practice.”
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