The Johnson County Lady Longhorns had another strong match against the visiting Tri-Cities Christian Lady Golden Eagles last week. The second time that the two teams met this season, Johnson County managed to pull out the win in three consecutive games despite a strong Tri-Cities defense. This is the way I would like to see it every game, Coach Eric Crabtree said after the match. We played very solid and did a good job serving. We were on the offensive, which made it hard for them to get into a rhythm. We made some good digs. Overall we played very well.
The match saw strong performances from players across the board and within only a few minutes of the first game the Lady Longhorns had struck hard and fast, gaining a lead of 14-7. Along with the strong offense, Johnson County also put up an amazing defensive game at the net, with Brionna Reece and Haley Miller picking up more than one block through the evening and Ashley Arnold and Ashley Weaver pulling off several saves. The defense was strong enough that the Lady Eagles were only able to make two more points in the whole first game, rounding out at 25-9.
For Coach Crabtree the match was all about confidence. As long as you keep confidence up youre fine, Crabtree said. You just get confidence in a game and you keep it. If youve got momentum you can win every ball game youre in.
The Longhorns were also dominant on the serve, with a notably strong performance by Linnea Yongue. Tonight I felt like I played really well, Yongue said. Ive had a few off games lately, but tonight I felt like I was strong in myself. I just really felt more confident. When I go out there and I feel that set, I mean really feel it, you can see it in the serves. I was serving great during practice, which also gave me a boost to go out there and do well.
When asked what goes through her mind as she is preparing to serve, Yongue replied that, I kind of block out everyone else and focus on the ball. I dont really aim for a spot or anything, I just kind of go for it. I try to make sure Ive got some spin on it, because if not it will just float right out. As long as I hit it with the spin on it, thats what Im focused on. Hitting is my favorite part of this game. I feel powerful. When I get the chance to hit, I really try to hit it hard.
Coach Crabtree also noted Yongues performance, adding that, Everybody just played well. Linnea did a very good job. Rachel Poteet had some good kills, Caitlyn Stout did as well. It was just an all around good effort.
The second game of the night proved to be a lot tougher, with Tricities fighting back early on, pulling a four-point lead. The score eventually grew to 5-10 with Johnson County trailing, but with the help of a few timely kills, things began to shift back in the Lady Longhorns favor. Slowing Tricitiess momentum, the girls eventually made their way back to a tie at 15 and with only 10 points until the end of the second game, it became a race to 25. The deciding lead came as Johnson County broke another tie at 18, and then blew past their competitors who were left scrambling to get two last points to close the game 25-20.
The final game of the night saw Tri-Cities fighting hard to stay in the match, and thanks to some strong encouragement from their coach, the Lady Eagles very nearly succeeded. Johnson County walked away with the first two volleys, but soon enough the Lady Eagles were on the scoreboard and took the lead 4-5. Johnson County trailed behind by one point until finally tying the game at 8. Both teams began playing catch up, flip-flopping the lead by a margin of one point and tying at 10, 13, and 16.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.