By Tim Chambers
The seventh grade volleyball team pulled off a remarkable feat by winning the conference tournament played on Saturday morning at Johnson County Middle School. The one-day event was a single elimination.
They also took the regular season championship to cap off their banner year.
The Lady Longhorns defeated Sullins Academy 25-21 in both sets to claim the semifinal match.
“It was a very tough match and the girls played the best they’ve played all season,” said head coach Dottie Phipps. “I could tell they really wanted this and they proved it on the court.”
Rhyleigh Icenhour and Peyton Gentry led the servers with eight points each. Kayla Sluder had a big day serving up six points.
Johnson County took home the top prize by defeating Cedarview Christian 27-25 and 25-14.
Rhyleigh Icenhour once again stepped up big with a team high 11 points. Hannah Fritts had a strong game scoring nine points.
“This team is a very strong group,” added Phipps. “They talk out on the court which is so important for this game. They have learned a lot in a short amount of time. Some of our competition has been playing travel ball and started playing volleyball at an earlier age. Our girls stepped up and competed well and won.”
Phipps praised her assistant coach, Billie Blevins.
“We are so proud of these girls,” said Phipps. “The varsity team played real hard on Saturday also. They lost their matches to Providence Academy and Cedarview Christian School, but our girls did toughen up each time they played this season and our serves also improved. By the end of the season everyone got better on our team. We are also very proud of how well they played and how hard they tried. It was a great effort by everyone.”
Macey Luckett served up 11 points to lead the first match. Lizzy Barnes had 13 points in the second match and Sierra Hodge contributed 11.
Barnes and Luckett were named to the all-conference team.
Phipps offered up her thanks for all those who came out to watch and who supported their fundraiser spaghetti dinner.