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Lady Horns trying to recapture momentum

The JCHS volleyball team won first place in silver bracket during the Cyclone Invitational Tournament at Elizabethton High School on August 21. Submitted photo

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The JCHS volleyball team had a busy week with matches against two tough opponents. They traveled to Tennessee High on Tuesday and played at home against Volunteer High on Thursday. The Lady Horns had to buckle down and be at the top of their game to take on both teams. Coach Michele Cooke knew this year’s roster would be difficult with these tough competitors added to the conference.

The JV team had an impressive night against the Lady Vikings. In the first game, the girls lost 16-25. Assistant Coach Sarah Jennings felt her girls just started slow and couldn’t make anything happen. The second game was impressive for the JV Lady Horns. They won in a tiebreaker against Tennessee High, 25-23. This should have been a significant motivating factor going into the third game, but serve returns would shatter hopes of capturing the overall victory for the JV team, losing the third game, 8-15.

Jennings noted, “we haven’t faced too many tie-breaking sets before, so we hope to handle the pressure better in the future.” Desiree Robinson had five kills, Sierra Green had 14 assists, and Aubree Glenn was a defensive machine with 18 digs. The Longhorn varsity team struggled throughout the match to get something started. These girls are still trying to get back on track after COVID and quarantine guidelines. Tennessee High, however, outplayed them throughout the match, 7-25, 13-25, and 14-25.

Thursday night, the volleyball team finally got to play again at home. Both JV and varsity teams looked like the teams from the beginning of the season. Again, Volunteer High is new to this conference, so it is just a matter of time to figure out the best strategies against this team. The varsity showed a lot of improvements after struggling through a couple of matches and quarantine. The Lady Horns’ offensive game was their strong point, with the girls making the most of several good sets.

However, the match did end in three games; 16-25, 17-25, and 16-25. Peyton Gentry did an outstanding job with 26 assists. Brookanna Hutchins had 12 kills for the team,
and Ryleigh Icenhour was strong defensively with nine digs.