By Tim Chambers
BLUFF CITY—The Lady Longhorns volleyball team played well in the early going against No. 3 seed Sullivan Central but couldn’t maintain over a four-game set. The Longhorns were eliminated from the tournament by scores of 25-19, 20-25, 25-14 and 25-10 at Sullivan East High School on Tuesday.
Johnson County head coach Donna Poteet saw her team make a lot of progress over the final two weeks. They lost to second place Elizabethton by a close score on Monday and managed to knock off Central in the second set the following evening.
“We got behind early in the first set but bounced back and played well to get back in it,” said Poteet. “We carried that over into the second set. I felt like we did a lot of good things during the match but we couldn’t maintain it late in the third set. We got behind and started to unravel.”
The Longhorns feel behind 9-0 in the first set before they would score their first point. They managed to pull close and trail by only three, but Central was able to pull away at the end.
That wasn’t the case in the second set. Kills by Renie Morrow, Taylor Parsons and Taylor Cox set the stage for what probably proved to be their best set played during the season.
Natalie Winters had a pair of digs that saved serve which led to points and Cox set up Renie Morrow for a kill shot. The Longhorns won that set 25-20.
The Horns started slow in the third set but managed to stay in the game. Central pulled away late in the set to win 25-14 then dominated the fourth and final set.
Senior Renie Morrow ended her career on a good note by racking up eight kills. Taylor Parsons added five kills and two aces. Taylor Cox played well as a setter and added three kills and three aces. Natalie Winters collected 11 digs and had several good saves on the backline.
“Winters was all over the court, and she played so hard,” added Poteet. “Parsons and Cox played well around the net, and both had a good game and so did Renie.”
Seniors Margaret Morrow, Kaylee Wittenberg, and Bella Miller played their last game on the volleyball court as a Lady Longhorns. Poteet praised their efforts.
“They’ve done a lot of good things for our team,” said Poteet. “Margaret has played well on the front line, and Kaylee and Bella have provided us some good defensive play and done well as setters. We won 12 games this year, and that’s the most in quite some time. All four of our seniors played a big role in that. We’ve got six juniors and some good sophomores returning next season. I honestly think they’ll be pretty good because they mesh well together.”
Johnson County finished the season at 12-18.