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Herman leads Lady Longhorns to win over Elizabethton

Tennis and volleyball are similar sports and last Monday in New York Novak Djokovic was in a zone and just couldn't be stopped en route to his third major of the year.
Just like the great serving Djokovic displayed at Arthur Ashe Stadium, a unsung hero of the JCHS Volleyball Team displayed that same focus in game five against Elizabethton and was in that zone that a lot of great athletes get into en route to leading her team to a victory.
In another of what has been a long line of classic matches against Elizabethton, Herman simply took over the fifth game in a 21-25, 26-24, 25-11, 21-25, 15-11 triumph for the Lady Longhorns over the Lady Cyclones at Shoun Gym.
With the score tied at 7-7, Herman came into the game to serve and she showed she's one of the better servers on the team.
Herman threw the Lady Cyclones off with spin serves that were very hard to return and that allowed her to score six straight points to pretty much seal things.
Herman also received a lot of help from her teammates during this time as Sarah Swift had two big kills during that time.
Miranda Payne also had a save on a ball that Swift ended up killing.
Herman set the tone for the rally and it was a night she will never forget.
“We really really wanted to beat Elizabethton,” Herman said. “This is my senior year and I want it to be successful.”
After scoring the first couple of points, Herman did feel like everything was going her way.
“I guess you could say I was in the zone and honestly I prayed a lot during this game and I feel that was the reason I scored those points.”
Herman takes a lot of pride in being a strong server and that's the main reason she gets to see varsity action. Herman showed just how much she can throw a team off.
“When I first started I was horrible at serving and then I took my time and Coach Crabtree helped me a lot.”
The momentum, as it does a lot in volleyball, shifted so many times in this match, but the Lady Longhorns didn't quit and kept battling to the end.
JCS was actually down 5-1 in game five before scoring 12 of the next 14 points.
“You have to take the next point as it comes, you can't dwell on that point and you have to come back fighting. There's no way of knowing who is going to win the game.”
Herman's late-match heroics were noticed by Crabtree.
“I put a lot of pressure on her bless her heart, her and Lori Eller both,” he said. “I put them in the game to serve and that's hard when you're not in the flow of the game and both of those girls do a good job and Priscilla there at the end I had never seen her serve like that in the two years she's been here.
“She's our most consistent server. She's not our hardest server, but it's tough to handle because one it gets in and two it's a different speed. It's like going from Randy Johnson down to Tim Wakefield. The team keeps backing up and then Priscilla hits this little spinner that throws them off. Very few times has Priscilla not come through. She did great and I'm happy for her.”
After losing the fourth game, Crabtree was concerned the momentum was not going to shift back the Lady Longhorns' way, but JCHS has been in a lot of five game matches over the last couple of years and it knew what it needed to to regain control.
“We got down there and we took a time out and got our heads together and from there on there on out we put the pressure on them,” Crabtree said. “We were getting saves, we were getting digs, we were getting good shots, we got our serves in. We got up 13-7 and No. 27 for Elizabethton hit a line and I said time out and lets get the momentum back. I didn't want them to get on a run and get excited. We took a time out and the girl had time to think. We never looked back and it was a huge win.”
Sullivan East is by far the class of the league with North a distant second, but three through five in Three Rivers Conference is about as competitive as you will ever see a league. All matches between JCHS, Elizabethton and Unicoi have gone five games and JCS is 1-1 in those matches.
“We are in a position to get third if we beat Elizabethton again and beat Unicoi,” Crabtree said. If we take care of business the last two or three weeks of the season, we'll be right where we need to be for the tournament.”
Not even a disappointing loss to Tri-Cities Christian the night before could stop JCHS from defeating it's biggest volleyball rival.
“We played five matches Saturday and it took a lot out of us,” Crabtree said. “They only had one day to rest and on Monday they had school and Tri-Cities Christian is a very good team. I was disappointed we didn't take some points from them and we had a let down. But it's a lot easier to get up for Elizabethton. We just came out flat. Tuesday is always a new day and that's the best thing about sports there's always tomorrow.”
Thursday's Match
JCHS def. Holston.
JV Report
The JCHS JV Team had another solid performance in a 25-21, 25-18 victory Elizabethton last Tuesday night.
The Lady Longhorns were in some close games, but they never buckled under the pressure.
“It was an excellent win,” JCHS assistant coach Mary Mays said. “It was a conference win and that means a lot. It was a total team effort and everybody played. It was awesome.”
The JV team has had an outstanding year and these girls are going to have a bright future.
“We're doing good things,” Mays said. “I know some of the girls will be moving up to varsity next year and more the following year and I just see good things. They're good kids, they have a good work ethic and they play as a team. I really believe by the time these girls are seniors they're going to be something to watch.”
Thursday in Damascus, the Lady Longhorns easily defeated the Lady Cavs 25-5, 25-9.
Freshmen Report
The JCHS Freshmen team lost to Elizabethton Tuesday night 25-16, 19-25, 10-15.
The Elizabethton Freshmen squad had a very familiar face coaching them as former JCHS head coach Patrick Roberts is now on staff at Elizabethton.
Roberts was the head coach for three seasons from 2007-2009. His best year came in 2007 when JCHS started the season 16-1 and that was also the year Breanna Easley was named to the TSWA All-State Team.
The JCHS Freshmen Team also has a familiar face on the sidelines as Amy Cardwell, a member of the 2005 team that went to the substate, is coaching the ninth graders here.
Cardwell was a key back row player on that squad that dominated almost every opponent they played.
The 2005 went 34-7 overall.