By Matt Hill
The JCHS Volleyball Team needed a lift and the Lady Longhorns received it at the Patrick Henry Invitational on Saturday.
The Lady Longhorns won two matches to raise their total win count to five for the year and finished fourth overall in Glade Spring, Va.
JCHS was coming off a tough three-game loss to Tri-Cities Christian last Tuesday, but you would have never known it Saturday as JCHS brought a level of intensity that hadnt been seen in several weeks.
For example, the match with Lebanon was an outstanding match that included a 32-30 marathon game two won by JCHS.
The Lady Longhorns lost the match 22-25, 32-30, 5-15, but the 32-30 win is believed to be the longest game in JCHS Volleyball history.
To be three points away from the championship says a lot about this team, JCHS head coach Eric Crabtree said. It was a great match.
The day started slow as Patrick Henry defeated JCHS 18-25, 15-25, but Crabtree contributed that to an early bus ride to the Commonwealth.
We left at 7:30 and these girls are slow starters, he said. We played well after the first match.
The Lady Longhorns defeated Twin Springs 25-15, 26-24 to finish pool play 1-1, then played two of their best matches of the year against Holston and Lebanon.
The Holston match began the tournament and both the Lady Longhorns and Lady Cavs gave a great effort with some outstanding plays being made.
Seniors like Lizzie Dugger stepped up and on one play, made an acrobatic dig that saved the point that the Lady Longhorns won.
When Shannon Main came through with a big kill in the second game, the Lady Longhorns had secured momentum and JCHS went on to win a hard-fought match by a score of 25-19, 25-17.
The Lebanon match was also a great one where everybody contributed.
From senior Chelsea Fenner to young sophomore like Ashley Arnold, every class represented contributed to a great day of volleyball for JCHS.
We served well the whole day once we got warmed up, Crabtree said. In the Holston match we played very sound.
The Lady Longhorns were worn out by the last match and lost again to Patrick Henry.
In the last match we were gassed, Crabtree said.
Overall, Crabtree was thrilled with how well the team played.
I thought we played very well, Crabtree said.
Last Tuesdays Match
Tri-Cities Christian 25 25 25
JCHS 18 22 21
The Lady Longhorns had a tough match with the Lady Eagles as JCHS never could get into a flow.
JCHS didnt play with a lot of energy and couldnt get anything going offensively.
Miranda Payne had 8 service points and four kills, Sarah Swift had 13 assists, four aces and six points, Ashley Arnold had 21 assists and Linnea Yongue finished with six points.
In game one, the Eagles came out flying as they raced to a 15-7 lead and never looked back.
JCHS took a 10-5 lead in game two, but after that the Eagles roared back and the Lady Longhorns lost control of the game.
In game three, some big kills by Fenner and Miranda Payne out put JCHS up 17-12.
But just like in game two, the Lady Longhorns saw things slip away and the Eagles scored 13 of the last 17 points of the match.
Tri-Cities is a sound ball team, Crabtree said. They executed better, passed better and played extremely well. We were outplayed and just didnt play well.
The future looks very bright for the JCHS Lady Longhorns as the junior varsity is playing very well.
The Lady Longhorns continued their winning ways last Tuesday with a 25-17, 25-17 sweep of Tri-Cities Christian.
JCHS closed out game one by winning eight of the last night points, including the last two being a kill by Sydney Easley and an ace by Linnea Yongue.
In game two, Ashleigh Weaver stood out with a big kill to tie the game at 4-4 and coming through with an ace to give the Lady Longhorns an 8-5 lead.
When Rachel Poteet hit an ace of her own, the Lady Longhorns led 14-8 and never looked back.
Poteet also closed the match out with an ace.
Theyre maturing, theyre not afraid anymore and they know they can play, JCHS JV coach Mary Mays said. Now were playing the beginning of high school volleyball and its so exciting.
The effort the Lady Longhorns gave pleased Mays.
Were not afraid to go after balls and were not afraid to get on the net, Mays said. The thing that keeps us in every game is that we dont have anybody who cant serve. We can call on anybody to get us three or four points. I dont ever worry about a first serve.
Mays knows the Lady Longhorns are building something special for the future.
Not only are they a good volleyball team, but theyre all good friends, she said. If you dont get along with the people youre playing with you might as well not be there. Im excited.
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