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The Longhorns take on Lady Cyclones in season opener

By Beth Cox
Sports writer

The JCHS Lady Longhorn Volleyball team traveled to Elizabethton on Tuesday for the first match of the season. Many Johnson County fans flooded the Elizabethton High School gym to see how well this highly anticipated young athletic team would perform against the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones. The turnout for the team was a great motivator for the players, especially on some of the long rallies that were quite frequent against the two teams.
The Lady Longhorns started out with several mistakes that seemed to be the results of the first game jitters, but as Coach Michele Cooke describes it, “they still played a hard, scrappy match.”
The Lady Cyclones won the first game 25-17. The Lady Horns started playing up to their potential in the second game fighting for every point. The team also showed excellent communication and covered some key spots that would typically be an easy target for the Cyclone hitters.
The second game resulted in some long rallies as the Horns were not ready to give up anything.
“The girls exhibited much heart as they fought through several long rallies throughout the contest,” Cooke said. “Those rallies got not only the team pumped up but also the fans. It was an exciting experience for all who witnessed both teams simply playing some great volleyball.
While the Cyclones ended up with the win, the Longhorns made it known they have what it takes to go all the way. Encouraged by the performance of her team, Cooke said, “they were competitive and provided an encouraging start to the season.”
That the girls showed heart and determination against
the Cyclones, there is little doubt.
Taylor Cox led the team offensively along with Sydney Souder in kills. Hannah Brooks and Cox worked well together interchanging their roles as both setter and hitter, which contributed significantly to the team’s offense. Souder was not only a critical offensive player but also she and Rhiannon Icenhour were powerful as defensive players, each getting twelve digs on the receiving end of the Cyclone hitters.
Abby Cornett was also an overall strong player with ten digs and led in serving along with Cox and Souder.
The score showed the other team winning, but as Cooke stated, “we are off to a great start and playing well as a team.”