EHS volleyball team makes history

Published 7:58 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SP1007 Cyclones vs Patriots volleyball D
KINGSPORT–The long wait is over for the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones.
Elizabethton made history on Tuesday night as it defeated traditional power Sullivan East in Carroll Gymnasium, 25-21, 27-25, 21-25, 18-25, 15-12, in the District 1-AA Semifinals to advance to the Regionals for the first time in school history.
Elizabethton will play Sullivan South in the final, a winner over Sullivan North in the nightcap.
The historic night in Elizabethton volleyball history had many heroes with Sarah Slagle finishing with 16 kills and 21 digs; Madyson Smith’s near quadruple double with 11 kills, 21 assists, 18 digs and nine aces; Chloe Hambrick’s 13 kills, most of which helped lead Elizabethton to a two games to zero lead; and Mary Beth Biggs and Sydney Goodsell combining for 81 digs, with Biggs having 56 and Goodsell having 25.
Perhaps most impressive is that the EHS team had lost its two-game lead but refused to quit.
“We are such a family and we depend on each other and don’t get mad,” said Hambrick. “We always have our points where we get frustrated, but we pick ourselves back up.
“We knew we were going to get it,” Hambrick added.
Elizabethton has come close a couple of times in the district semifinals, once in 2012 in a five-game loss to North; and in 2008 in a five-game loss to North on a team led by arguably the program’s best all-time player, Mariah Pietrowski.
Hambrick said she is happy to share this milestone with her friends.
“We are going to regionals for the first time in school history and we won three matches against Sullivan County teams for the first time,” Hambrick said.
“They made history,” Elizabethton head coach Leslee Bradley said. “It is huge for our program to get to this point. I have gone into so many seasons thinking I had the team to do it and this team did it.
“We’ve always been behind the eight-ball,” she added. “We were the last school in our conference to get a middle school program and then when that program started, there wasn’t a lot of emphasis on that middle school program.
“We have worked our tails off to put the best varsity program out there. And when you are playing teams with a lot more experience than you do, it is hard to get over that hump.”
The win for Elizabethton was also Bradley’s 200th win at EHS.

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