The Lady Raiders were led by senior outside hitter Marissa Langford who recorded 13 kills in the three Cleveland wins. Langford finished the night with three aces and six digs. Kellee Geren scored two aces for the Lady Raiders and Kayla Lee brought up eight digs.
“After a tough match Monday, this was a nice little relief. I got to play everybody on the bench; a lot of young kids went in,” said Cleveland coach Trish Flowers. It was a nice win. It’s nice to start this way.”
The Lady Raiders pulled out to a 6-1 lead in game one and quickly built a 12-2 advantage. From there, Cleveland cruised to win No. 1 of the night.
The Lady Cherokees played it a bit tougher in game two, leading three times before the Lady Raiders jumped out front 8-5 on an Aneisha Barber kill. McMinn fought back to again tie the game at 12-12 before giving up the lead on a net serve. The Lady Raiders took advantage of the opportunity to ring up 10 of the next 12 points, and led 22-14 before closing out the game at 25-16.
“McMinn is the underdog in our district, but they continue to get more girls who play club volleyball and they are getting scrappier,” said Flowers.
The Lady Cherokees led 2-0 in the final game of the evening before kills by Langford and Barber put Cleveland out front 4-2. McMinn battled to stay close and tied the game at 6-6 before a nine-point run sent the Lady Raiders out front 15-6. K.K. Clements served up an ace to make it 21-11 and Lauren Borst closed out the three-game sweep with a kill to make it 25-15.
Flowers said the Lady Raiders have a few things to work on as the season progresses, but feels they will be ready to make a run at the district title.
“We’ve played a lot. I feel that Cleveland has always peaked when it matters most. That is our goal this year as well,” she said.
“We’ve got to beat every team we play in order to reach some of our goals. We know our district is tough. We know we have some things to work on and we are going to take it one score at a time.”