The Lady Longhorns celebrate during the Cyclone Invitational Tournament at Elizabethton.
By Beth Cox
The Lady Longhorn Volleyball team traveled early Saturday morning to compete in the Cyclone Invitational Tournament at Elizabethton High School. It has already been a busy week for the team, but this tournament challenges the girls and gives them a good idea of the upcoming competition.
The Lady Horns started the tournament against Daniel Boone High School. It was a tough match for the girls losing in two games. DBHS is a solid team to face early in a tournament, but sadly it wasn’t easier with the second team; Tennessee High School. Tennessee High is now in the same conference with Johnson County, so getting the experience and practice against the larger team is worth it for the Lady Horns. Johnson County competed well with these bigger schools, but the girls lost to both teams.
The third match was with a familiar team, Chuckey Doak High School. The Lady Horns went all three games with the Black Knights. It was a fight to the bitter end, but unfortunately, CDHS won the match. The third loss for the team meant they would be playing in the silver bracket of the tournament. Coach Michele Cooke and her team were hopeful they might have a chance to redeem themselves against CDHS, knowing that earlier win should have been for them. The stage was set against the Black Knights again with easy wins against Cosby and West Greene.
The third match would determine who takes home the medal. The Lady Horns challenging team would be CDHS. There is no doubt the Black Knights felt confident in another victory, but Johnson County got the opportunity they had hoped for and were determined to win against Chuckey Doak. Cooke was proud of what she saw in her team.
“They pushed hard and played as a team, they shook off mistakes, and didn’t play timidly.”
Due to some solid serves, a great offensive, and mainly teamwork, the girls got the win and the coveted silver bracket win. Cooke’s excitement and pride when describing the win were heartfelt.
“It was awesome to feel the excitement and encouragement from the bench to the court,”she added. “The desire to win was evident in that match, especially when Brookanna Hutchins pounded the volleyball down on the ground to give us the win.It was a great match.”