By Tim Chambers
The Lady Longhorns have been unable to get a volleyball win since their conference victory over Sullivan North, but they’ve played well at times according to head coach Donna Poteet. It showed in a trio of sets at the Cyclone Invitational.
Johnson County lost to Sullivan South and South Greene 22-25 in a couple of sets. Both teams are always contenders to reach the state tournament so playing them close showed much improvement.
They also dropped a 22-25 set to Morristown East.
“We’ve been able to compete against some very good teams in a set or two, but we can’t put it together for a whole match,” said Poteet. “I’ve watched us play more aggressive and we appear to be getting better each time out. We just have to play with a lot more confidence.”
The Longhorns did show some savvy in a pair of recent matches.
They bounced back to defeat Sullivan South in a set at home before losing 3-1. They also lost to Sullivan Central 3-1, falling in the last set by a slim 23-25 score.
“We’ve had some girls that have stepped up and played well,” said Poteet. “Margaret Morrow has been leading us on the front row and her sister, Renie, has also given us some great play. Taylor Parsons keeps getting better and has really played good on the front line. They have been a huge bright spot for us.”
Poteet was quick to commend her senior quartet of Kamryn Sluder, Courtney Brooks, Brittney Brooks and Shahnoa Greene.
“The seniors have given us some good play and leadership,” added Poteet. “We lean on them a lot to make big plays and we’ve gotten that from them at times.”
Poteet was pleased with the play of sophomores Taylor Cox, Natalie Winters, Abby Cornett and Hannah Brooks in addition to Parsons.
“Those girls keep getting better,” added Poteet. “We moved Hannah up to varsity so we now have five sophomores on the varsity roster. They’re really played well on the junior varsity team and are getting in some during the varsity matches. We’re expecting good things from them.”
The Lady Longhorns will play a make-up game on Wednesday at Chuckey-Doak and at home against Unicoi County on Thursday.
“We’ve been on the road a lot since the season started,” said Poteet. “We’re getting ready to play a big stretch of games at home. Hopefully we’ll play with a lot of confidence when we get back at our place. I know the girls are really looking forward to that.”