The Cleveland Middle School volleyball Lady Raiders traveled to Chattanooga Tuesday to face the Girls Preparatory School Lady Bruins in their first matchup of the season and came back with another “W” added to their record with back-to-back wins by scores of 25-13, 25-19.
Coached by CHS assistant Caitlyn Fuller, the sixth-grade team played the Bruins’ seventh-grade squad winning both sets. The sixth-grade Lady Raiders are no stranger to victories over junior varsity level competition. They took on and won over Spring City’s junior varsity last weekend in the third annual Raider Rally volleyball tournament, a win that advanced the youngsters to the championship game of the Raider Rally against their very own Lady Raiders junior varsity team. Coach Fuller was proud of the way her team played this weekend and against GPS, noting that a second week of “snow-cationing” meant another week of no practice.
“My girls are improving at a rapid pace. By playing up in the tournament Saturday, they were able to face some tougher competition. I was so proud of them for getting runner-up against our seventh grade after beating Spring City,” Fuller said. “To add another win tonight against GPS’s seventh grade is a big deal. It says a lot about our girls and our program.”
Key players in Tuesday’s win were Savannah Pitts, Anna Walker, and Sara Pritchard.
The seventh-grade team beat GPS 2-0 with scores of 25-17, 25-22 bringing their record to 15-1 overall. The team beat East Hamilton to win the Bear Paw Classic championship and won its second championship in the Raider Rally against their very own sixth-grade squad. Coach Trish Flowers has been pleased with the girls’ performance this season.
“This is a special group of girls and the wins are always a team effort. They are a strong serving and passing team, which makes all the difference,” said Flowers.
The Blue Raiders eighth-grade team played solidly against their strongest competition yet, winning against the Bruins in the third set. Scores were 22-25, 25-21, 15-4. Head coach Brandi Ownby was glad to see the girls step up their game to pull out this win.
“Our challenges revolved around communication and passing. The team played smarter in the third set, placing their serves and targeting weaker positions. GPS kept the ball alive because they are well-coached and scrappy,” Fuller said of the group. “These are the best kind of games because they allow our team to grow as players.”
Team highlights include Sophia Lakatosh with one ace, 6 digs, 10 kills, 10 assists, Emma Flowers with two aces, 16 digs, 10 kills, nine assists, Rheagan Hall with five aces, eight digs, and two assists; Katie Davis with an ace and four kills; and libero Hannah Longley with 14 digs and 15 receptions.
The eighth-grade team won the Raider Rally last weekend as well beating crosstown rival Ocoee Middle School in the finals. They lost to Hunter Middle School in the Bear Paw finals the previous weekend.
The Raiders will travel to “The Stable” tonight to play the Lady Colts. The sixth-graders will serve up at 4:30 p.m. followed by seventh-grade action at 5:30 and eighth-grade volleyball at 6:30.