By Tim Chambers
Four senior volleyball players took the court inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium on Tuesday for a final time. It was a memorable moment for the quartet.
Johnson County defeated KACHEA in straight sets 25-22, 25-20 and 25-19. It was the final game for seniors Kamryn Sluder, Courtney Brooks, Brittney Brooks and Shahnoa Greene.
Coach Donna Poteet touched on her team’s accomplishments. She feels like they built a good foundation for the younger players to follow.
“Our seniors got to experience some things that teams in the past two or three years haven’t,” said Poteet. “We beat Sullivan North in a match and we took a single set from Sullivan South, Sullivan East and Sullivan Central which is something we haven’t done. We were close in a lot of games and the girls showed considerable improvement. I’m very proud of our team. We were very competitive and played a lot of teams close.”
Their final regular season home game against the Wildcats was of the same variety. The game was tied 9-9, 11-11 and 17-17. Johnson County failed to serve successful six times leading up to that which prevented them from building a lead.
Sluder served up five consecutive points that enabled them to build a 22-17 lead. She had a couple of kills in the match while Taylor Parsons collected three including one that started the scoring spree.
Brittney Brooks had a point-saving dig that pushed the lead back to 24-22 after they had pulled within one.
KACHEA misfired on a serve allowing the Horns to take the first match 25-22.
The second set was much like the first. Johnson County finally built a 14-9 advantage only to see the Wildcats battle back to tie the set at 19-19. The Longhorns went on a 6-1 run led by Courtney Brooks and Renie Morrow who produced points.
They took that set 25-20.
The Lady Longhorns would not be denied in the decisive set. Greene helped set up kills by Sluder and Parsons at the net that broke a 14-all tie that led to four straight points.
They took the finale 25-19 with Margaret Morrow providing some strong play at the net.
Sluder ended the night with a dozen kills and six aces. Parsons added nine kills at the net. Renie Morrow collected six kills and played a strong floor game. Courtney Brooks had a good all around game, five kills, four aces and six digs. Brittney Brooks led the team with 11 digs.
Taylor Cox played well in a reserve role.
The Lady Longhorns had second seed Chuckey-Doak on the ropes in the first set before losing 30-28 in the opening round of the District Tournament at Sullivan South. They dropped the next two sets 25-12 and 25-18.
Taylor Southerland dominated play with 17 kills for the Black Knights. Brittney Ramsey cashed in with eight.
Taylor Parsons and Renie Morrow had seven kills, plus a block-and-a-half each for the Lady Longhorns. Margaret Morrow added four aces, a block and two kills. Kamryn Sluder finished her career with six kills and three aces. Brittney Brooks and Shahnoa Greene were singled out for their defensive play. Courtney Brooks played a good all around game and served well according to Poteet.
“I felt like our seniors played well in their final game but we had some younger players who stepped it up tonight,” said Poteet. “We outplayed them in the first match and should have won. The outcome might have been different had we been able to pull it out.”