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JCMS Volleyball Teams very successful in conference tournament

The JCMS Varsity Volleyball Team played heroically to get to the championship match on Saturday, but it ran into a machine that couldn't be stopped.
The Lady Longhorns had an outstanding day, but fell to Providence Academy 25-17, 17-25, 17-25, 25-20 on Providence's home court Saturday on what was a long but outstanding day of volleyball action.
The Seventh grade team won its conference title by defeating Cedarview in three games and then defeating Providence 24-26, 25-16, 15-6 in a single elimination tournament.
The Lady Longhorns had lost to Providence in two games earlier in the day, but came out strong in the championship match and won game one 25-17.
The win was a surprise to a lot of people there and showed just how much better this JCMS squad was getting.
“I'm extremely proud of them,” JCMS head coach Dottie Sue Phipps said. “They fought real hard and beating a team they had lost to during the season (Cedarview) was a huge accomplishment. They struggled against Cedarview losing twice to them in season play, but on tournament day they redeemed themselves. They really showed their character.
“Just beating Providence in one set is a feat they weren't used to because Providence hadn't lost a game all season.”
This day would belong to the Lady Knights as they were very solid at the net and really didn't have a weakness anywhere.
By the third game, you could tell that JCMS was tired from playing four matches including this three out of five game match, while Providence had two less stressful matches going into the final.
Against Cedarview in the second match, JCMS was down 14-10 in game three only to rally back to win the match.
In the match against the Seahawks, JCMS had to deal with a fun-loving but rowdy group of Cedarview students who were having a very good time all in clean fun.
Still, it was an outstanding atmosphere as the JCMS seventh graders started cheering for their team, making it very wild.
“We practice distraction drills all season to prepare our players for tournament play and rowdy fans,” Phipps said. “In this game we did not let it affect our game and came from behind 14-10 to win 16-14.”
To play that well against Providence following such a grueling and emotional match against Cedarview is a testament to how well these girls did on Saturday, especially considering how good Providence is.
Johnson County has won the championship the last two years with girls like Rachel Poteet, Hannah Wheeler, Brionna Reece and Demi Blevins who are now playing at the high school, but Providence has kept getting better and it finally broke through on Saturday in a big way.
“Our championship matches have almost always been with Providence,” Phipps said. “This year they had improved tremendously coming up to what we thought was our level. Volleyball is a sport that can really go either teams way.”
These young ladies will now move on to the high school and the future looks very bright for them.
“These girls love volleyball and will be easy to coach at the higher level of play in high school,” Phipps said.
The seventh grade also had to overcome some tough matches in order to win, but they fought hard and played well.
“I could not be prouder,” Phipps said. “They also played some tough matches, splitting with both teams for the win.”
The first match was very hairy for JCMS as they had to battle from behind in game three, but once it did the Lady Longhorns were prepared for the finals.
The championship match against Providence was difficult early, but JCMS refused to give up and they pulled it out.
“It seems like they had to be woke up, but once they realized this was it, they wanted it,” Phipps said.
Keeping things in perspective, the junior varsity players from all schools are still getting used to the game of volleyball. However, Phipps has a very athletic group that will continue to progress into next season.
“They will know what to expect and we'll know what to work on,” Phipps said.