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Middle school volleyball improves every game

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The Johnson County Middle School Volleyball team has been busy with a lot of volleyball this past week. On August 24, the Lady Horns traveled to Unicoi for the first game of the season. Things didn’t start too well for the team as they lost the varsity game in 15-25 and 16-25. The JV team did not have much luck on the Blue Devil court as they succumbed to the power players losing in two straight sets.

The Lady Longhorns traveled to Cedarview on August 26. The varsity wanted to make up for the tough loss a couple of nights earlier against the Blue Devils, so they came out serving. That’s right; sometimes, all a good game needs is strong people at the service line. Those standout servers were Izzy Thompson, Briley Vaught, and Emily Orr.

Varsity won the first game, but it was a tough one to the bitter end. The Horns barely made it but finally got the 25-23 lead. The second and third games were not on the side of the maroon and white. The girls lost the second game 17-25, and in the third, they looked tired and lost 8-15.

The JV team lost as well, but Coach Mechelle Arney is hopeful her team can get more wins in the upcoming future.

“The girls played hard, we will get it, I see improvements each time we play.”

Arney took over the reins of volleyball this year when the beloved coach Dottie Phipps retired earlier this year. Arney is also the athletic director of the middle school’s program and chose to take the coaching position after Phipps’s departure.

“When Coach Phipps decided to retire, I looked for a replacement,” she said. “Who can replace her? I love volleyball, so I decided to help with the transition and got Coach Phipps to stay and help out.” Arney added, “she is a phenomenal coach. The girls love her, so it has been a great fit.”

Coach Phipps has 31 years of coaching experience and has no plans on retiring from volleyball any time soon.