OOLTEWAH — Cleveland coach Patricia Flowers was left scratching her head and wondering how to stop the Lady Raiders' recent free fall after Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Ooltewah.
"Our libero has been out from the beginning of the season. We can talk about how we are missing her leadership all we want, but she wasn't there at the beginning of the season when we were 7-0," Flowers said of the now 8-7 Lady Raiders, who fell 25-12, 25-20 and 25-19 to the Lady Owls. "We can make a lot of excuses. We have a lot of young players on the court and we're just missing that killer instinct that we need to win. No one is stepping up and taking charge."
Game one belonged to the Lady Owls. Ooltewah raced to a 6-2 lead and never looked back. Cleveland made it a 12-8 game before falling behind 22-10 then dropping the match 25-12.
The Lady Raiders fared little better in game two, falling behind 8-1. Kelle Geren and Aneisha Barber helped make it a 10-8 game, but the Lady Owls exploded for eight points to open an 18-9 gap. The Lady Raiders fought back to cut it to 24-19 before succumbing to the Lady Owls.
Cleveland opened the final game battling from a 5-2 deficit to tie it at 5-5. But the Lady Owls picked up the pace and re-established their dominance to build a 15-9 advantage. Again, the Lady Raiders came back to make it a 20-18 game but could only manage one more point, falling 25-19.
"We're doing everything we can as a coaching staff in practice. We're doing our homework," said Flowers. "We're just going to chalk it up that we're in a rut. We're going to keep fighting through this rut and hopefully the old Cleveland will come back soon."
Lady Mustangs sweep McMinn
The Walker Valley Lady Mustangs ran their volleyball record to 11-10 (3-3 District 5-AAA) with a 3-0 sweep of McMinn County Tuesday in “The Stable.”
Walker Valley scored a 25-19 win in game one and closed out the night with 25-15 and 25-12 victories.
Abby Campbell finished with four aces, 15 assists, two kills and 13 digs. Baylee Boen had eight kills, seven digs and six receptions while Ashlyn Flock ended with nine assists, one kill and 10 digs. Rachel Lawhorn went up for 13 kills and four digs and Madison Pruett notched six kills, seven digs and four receptions. Alex Rominger served one ace and had 10 digs and four receptions while Mikayla Lumpkin booked one assist, two blocks, one kill, three digs, and receptions. Alexan Crittenden finished with three assists, two kills, and three digs, while Nikki Prugh earned one block, four digs, and two receptions. Gracie Pierce added four digs, and three receptions, Sara Wilson had one assist and four digs, Abbi Mason had three digs and Katelin Scoggins had one dig and two reception.
In junior varsity action, the Lady Mustangs swept the Lady Cherokees by scores of 25-4 and 25-6.
Crittenden scored two aces on 10 assists, four kills, and three digs while Julia McGuire came through with six aces, one kill, and two digs. Sara Wilson had two aces, three kills, one dig, and two receptions while Scoggins had one kill, five digs, and one reception Abbi Mason scored two kills, and a dig while Lumpkin picked up one ace, and two digs. Dani Sowder had one aces, one kill, and one reception while Rylee Lawson served two aces, and added one dig. Prugh booked one ace, and one dig and Carly Frost picked up two digs. Kate Essenburg had one assist, and one kill, Lindsay Staiman had one kill and Megan Malone had one reception.