Lady Patriots handily defeat Cyclones in conference play

Published 10:43 pm Thursday, August 27, 2015

By Matt Hill


This looked like the prime year for Elizabethton to gets its first victory over Sullivan East in conference play.
When Thursday’s match was played, though, the Lady Patriots looked like the team of old and Elizabethton didn’t have an answer.
East easily won 25-13, 20-25, 25-17, 25-10 over the Lady Cyclones at Treadway Gym, and other than a slip-up in game two, did it with relative ease.
From the beginning of the match when first-year head coach Lisa Embree’s squad raced out to a 5-0 lead and came out with a fire not seen in earlier matches, it was obvious that East did not want to lose its spot as one of the elite of the Three Rivers Conference.
It was a huge match for an Elizabethton squad that arguably started league play with the top three teams in the conference with Sullivan North, Sullivan South and Sullivan East, though this was one the Lady Cyclones thought they could have.
After struggling in game one, the Lady Cyclones briefly made a match of it led by some strong hitting from Sarah Slagle, who finished the night with 12 kills. Elizabethton had all the momentum, but that was the only momentum it had all night.
“I kept telling them you’re a half second slow,” Elizabethton head coach Leslee Bradley said. “It was just finding the ball and reacting quicker and we just couldn’t do that tonight. East was hitting their spots.
“Their placement was very good, they made good decisions with the ball, and we didn’t make good decisions with the ball. We let East do whatever they wanted to do with the ball.”
In games three and four, the East big hitters took over, led by Micaela Chaffin with 21 kills and others like Caitlin Hale who set the tone with good placement and threw the Elizabethton defense off.
East was also set up well by setter Kelseay Smith, who really took charge and really lit a fire into the team and they were loud.
Elizabethton meanwhile did not communicate well and it led to a disastrous night.
Elizabethton defeated East in the Three Rivers Jamboree earlier this month and East admitted it wanted revenge.
“I should have mentioned that,” said Bradley. “I expected us to be more ready to play than we were. I guess I need to shoulder some of the blame that we weren’t.
Sydney Goodsell had seven kills and 16 digs, Chloe Hambrick had 19 digs and Madison Smith had 17 assists.
Sullivan East defeated Elizabethton in junior varsity 25-16, 25-17 and also in freshman play 25-4, 25-9.

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