The coach was pleased with the 25-13, 25-12 and 24-15 wins over the Lady Cherokees (0-1, 0-1 District 5-3A), but told the Bearettes (1-0, 1-0) afterward there is still much work to be done.
“It’ a win. We’ve got some things to work on. We ran a couple of different combinations to see what is going to work best in game situations. It was still a good win. It was a good way to open up,” she said.
McElhaney’s eyes were focused on one particular area where she said the Bearettes’ need to pick it up in a hurry if they plan to pick up win No. 2 on Thursday at Ooltewah.
“We had a lot of missed serves. In the last game we had 15 points and missed seven serves. We go to Ooltewah Thursday and we can’t give them that many opportunities to come back,” she lamented.
The Bearettes’ play otherwise was near flawless against the Lady Tribe. McMinn made a run in Game 1 to cut a 10-2 deficit to 10-8. But, it was about as close as they would get. Bradley Central closed out the opener with a 10-0 run behind the serving of Brianna Howard.
Game 2 was virtually more of the same. The Bearettes led 13-4 and held a 21-10 lead before closing out the 25-12 win.
“We are still looking at if we are going to run a 5-1 or 6-2. We are trying to solidify one spot on the back side to see who is going to be the starter and who is going to come in off the bench,” McElhaney said.
The Lady Cherokees battled the Bearettes back and forth early in the finale as McElhaney substituted freely. After swapping the lead, Bradley’s Lisa Duvall broke a 6-6 tie with two aces that put the Bearettes up for good. Another run gave Bradley a 15-8 advantage and minutes later the Bearettes closed out the night with a final Duvall ace.
“We had a lot of substitutions. I cleared the bench,” McElhaney said of the third game. “We’re still fairly young. We’ve got four seniors, three juniors and the rest are all sophomores. Once we take out that starting group it is all my newbies. We’re working hard and we will get there.”
Kayla Arp ended her night with 11 assists, two kills, 13 service points, seven aces and two digs while Brianna Howard had booked two assists, two kills, 17 service points and three aces. Rebecca Reuter picked up eight digs, an assist, five kills and 3.5 blocks and teammate Brooke Copeland notched three assists, 11 kills, two blocks 12 service points, four aces and nine digs. Lisa Duvall tallied eight service points, two aces, two digs and three kills for the Bearettes.