Lady Cyclones eliminated by Greeneville in heartbreaker

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

GREENEVILLE—There is a lot of hype going around about this Friday’s football showdown between the Greeneville and Elizabethton football teams.
However, for anyone that wasn’t at the Greeneville High School gym Tuesday night, they missed a battle between the two schools as the Lady Cyclones faced off with the Lady Green Devils during the Region 1-AA semifinals.
The Lady Cyclones got down early 2-0 but were able to rally back to make it 2-2 before falling in the final set 15-9.
“I hate that we got down 0-2,” said Elizabethton head coach Leslee Bradley. “Both of those first two sets, we made some plays that we would certainly like to have back. Greeneville came out firing on all cylinders, and they really played some good volleyball tonight.”
 Tuesday night’s loss brought the Lady Cyclones season to an end, a season that saw Elizabethton pick 24 wins to tie their the program’s record for most wins in a season, while also finishing runner-up at the District 1-AA Tournament and second in the Three Rivers Conference.
“Finishing second in our conference is a big deal,” said Bradley. “It is a hard thing to do. You have to show up every night against every team in our conference. Every team in our conference took sets off of each other. To finish second and then come out of the district tournament is a testament to how well we played all season long.”
The Lady Green Devils took the first two sets 25-21 and 25-19. The Lady Cyclones, however, were not finished as Elizabethton senior Sydney Goodsell, who finished the night with seven aces, served for ten straight serves to push EHS to a 10-0 lead in the third set. Goodsell would have to leave the court midway through the set after a ball struck her in the face causing her nose to bleed. The Elizabethton players, with one of their top scorers out, were able to hold down the court as they topped Greeneville 25-16 in the third set. Goodsell returned towards the back end of the set.
“Fortunately, we had a pretty good cushion there in the third set,” said Bradley  “We were able to sustain. It was just back and forth play at that point. This is one of the deepest rosters that I have had. I haven’t gotten all of them out there to play, but when we need somebody, the next person has been ready.
“Brittany Kitchens came in and did a good job while we got Sydney cleaned up and ready to go back out there,” added Bradley.
The fourth set saw Elizabethton take a 10-7 lead as Goodsell made two one-handed saves before Hannah Boster finished off the point with a kill. Elizabethton junior Morgan Smith hammered in a kill down the right line to scooted EHS on out to a 17-12 edge before Goodsell connected on an ace to give her team a six-point lead. As one of the team’s two seniors, Goodsell played a big role in keeping the Lady Cyclones momentum rolling as they took back-to-back sets to make it 2-2.
“Your seniors feel it a little bit more when you get to this point,” said Bradley. “Sydney has always been a dynamic player. When she gets fired up, she is just a lot of fun as a volleyball player. To take one in the nose like that and come back, is big. She would take another one in the nose if she had to.”
In the fifth set, the Lady Green Devils took an early 2-0 lead which hurt the Lady Cyclones momentum. Elizabethton tied things up 3-3, but the Lady Green Devils regained the lead and took a 15-9 win.
“Standing on the sidelines in that fifth set when we missed a couple of swings, I was like, ‘This is not good,'” said Bradley. “We never gave up on it, and we haven’t all season long. For whatever hole that we have dug for ourselves, we have been able to get out. Greeneville was fired up. Being on their home court and spotting them a couple points in the fifth set was a difference maker.”
Smith led the Lady Cyclones with 23 kills while Goodsell had 12. At the net, Elizabethton’s Mattie Davis had seven blocks as Smith followed up with four.

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