The JCHS varsity volleyball team kicked off their season Tuesday as they traveled to Science Hill High School for the Media Night Jamboree. Nervous excitement was evident for the group of seniors as they stepped out on the court, but when the Lady Longhorns played the first serve, the nervousness turned into focus and determination. During the jamboree, the JCHS volleyball team played three games with the winner being the first team to 25 or whoever is ahead when the thirty-minute time runs out, which according to Coach Michele Cooke is what happened to the Lady Longhorns. “We were right there with Science Hill throughout the game and were only down a couple of points when time ran out.”
Cooke added, “Had we not given away a few points on service errors, we would have been ahead.” The jamboree gave Cooke a preview of the potential of her players in the upcoming season. The coach liked what she saw with her team. Cooke thought the girls moved well and played good defense and offense against the Hilltoppers. “Taylor Cox had an awesome hitting performance, so if she can keep that up and we do a better job in serving, we can be really competitive and win games within our conference.”
The JCHS volleyball team started out strong and played well against the 6A Hilltoppers. The Hilltoppers were able to make some key corner shots, and good serves that helped with the overall score. The Lady Longhorns then faced off with Tennessee High and Volunteer High School. The girls struggled more with the latter two teams as they did against the Science Hill. Several hits and serves went into the net or out of bounds and the communication between players were lacking; however, the girls did a better job playing net and reacting better defensively.
The Lady Longhorns have a full week ahead and some strong opponents, so they need to be ready both physically and mentally as they take on Elizabethton Tuesday and Sullivan Central on Thursday. Both teams are tough opponents and easily won against JCHS last year, but this group of girls has goals and high expectations of going far this year. Cooke adds, “If we play as we did against SHHS, and do a better job getting our serves in, we can be a really competitive team and win games within our conference.