Loss to Lady Rebels sends Lady Cyclones to Sullivan South for Regionals

Published 9:01 am Friday, October 9, 2015

Star Photo/Bryce Phillips The Lady Cyclones are this season's District I-AA Tournament Runner-Ups, after losing to the Sullivan South Lady Rebels during Thursday night's final.

Star Photo/Bryce Phillips
The Lady Cyclones are this season’s District I-AA Tournament Runner-Ups, after losing to the Sullivan South Lady Rebels during Thursday night’s final.

Elizabethton had a letdown following the biggest win in school history Tuesday night putting the Lady Cyclones in their first ever District 1-AA final. But the good news is they are still alive to play another day.
Sullivan South, who has won several district titles, came out on fire offensively and ended up winning 25-8, 25-16, 25-21 over EHS at Carroll Gym Thursday night.
As a result, the Lady Cyclones will travel to Sullivan South for the region to play Greeneville at 6 p.m. following the South-Grainger matchup at 4:30.
The two winners will meet in the championship match following the second semifinal.
The Lady Cyclones definitely had some first-time jitters and also ran into a South team that came out with a purpose with Rachel Delung putting the sets right on target and Emma Carico always there to drill it.
Carico finished with a match-high 13 kills for South and she was definitely on in the first game. South went ahead 7-0 and never looked back.
It wasn’t until game three that Elizabethton calmed down, but it was too late.
South also has a knack for winning close games no matter what the competition and with Elizabethton only down 21-19, after a kill from Sydney Goodsell, the Lady Rebels stepped up and pulled game three out 25-21 and took the match.
“I think they learned tonight that you just need to play volleyball,” said Elizabethton head coach Leslee Bradley. “The other team on the other side of the net is just playing volleyball and we can score points with anybody. We were overthinking.
“We were very nervous early on. We were very worked up for this match. We got so worked up and tried to convince ourselves that we were ready for this, but we weren’t quite ready for it. Now that we’ve experienced it, we will be OK the next time. I know my team can play good solid volleyball and as long as we can stay focused. I definitely think we can extend our season beyond Tuesday.”
Rachel Robinson had eight assists with Madyson Smith adding five. Smith had six kills and Sarah Slagle finished with 17 digs.
Sarah Slagle, Madyson Smith and Chloe Hambrick made the All-Tournament team for Elizabethton.
For Bradley, being in this title match after 22 years of coaching at Elizabethton was plenty of satisfaction for her.
“It is really, really fun to be coaching in this match on this night,” said Bradley. “It is still a little bit surreal to be on the floor. So many years I have been in the stands watching this championship match take place. It was exciting. I couldn’t wait to leave the house and get over here tonight.”
South head coach Wendy Ratliff has a ton of respect for Bradley and the Elizabethton program and was glad to share this moment with her, as they embraced after the match.
“She’s awesome,” said Ratliff. “She is a really good person and on top of that, a good coach. So it is good to see it pay off for her and I want to see them go as far as they can. We want everyone in our conference to go as far as they can go. We are definitely in their corner.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox