Bagging a regional berth… Lady Cyclones eliminate host Central 3-1 to gain district final, regional berth

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2019

BLOUNTVILLE – If the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones weren’t awake when their semifinal match against Sullivan Central began Tuesday inside the Dickie Warren Dome at Sullivan Central High School, they certainly had eyes wide open by the time the first set ending.
Using stellar net play and placement, the host Lady Cougars clawed their way to an opening 25-17 win in set one before the ladies from Elizabethton settled in from that point to win three straight sets to take the match 3-1 and insure themselves a shot at a district title and even more importantly a home regional match when they play the Sullivan South Lady Rebels tonight at 7 pm at Central.
The Lady Cyclones have lost twice to the Lady Rebels during the regular season but its always hard beating a team three times in one season so the Lady Cyclones have that riding on their side.
After dropping the first set, Elizabethton rallied over the next three winning 25-18, 25-19, and 25-19.
Senior Morgan Smith continued to add to 1,000-kill career as she smashed down 12 more Tuesday night to go along with 12 defensive digs to make sure her prep career would be guaranteed at least two more matches.
Whitley Maupin and Brittany Kitchens also had a solid match knocking down six kills apiece. Maupin also added 10 digs while Kitchens recorded nine.
Senior Libro Deanna Hull led from the defensive side of the net with 19 defensive digs in the match.
It would take an overall team effort to make sure to keep the Lady Cougars in check throughout the match as Central continued to attempt to scrape out of the hole they were in.
“Coming in with it being on Sullivan Central’s court, they have a super-strong team,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Leslee Bradley. “That was just a great volleyball match right there.
“Coming in here ten days ago on their Senior Night and pulling out the win on the night gave us just a little bit of momentum coming into tonight. So that was in the back of everybody’s heads so I am just really pleased with the effort.”
Bradley was asked what changed the match back over to her team’s side of the net after the first set uprising by the Lady Cougars.
“That first set they played a perfect game,” Bradley said. “Every serve was in, every third ball was in, and they put the passes where they needed to put passes.
“It’s hard to play that consistent all night long, so I was just hoping that tide would turn our direction and we jumped up on them pretty good in that second set and stole the momentum and kind of gave ourselves a better confidence.
“Everybody gave a tremendous effort. We had our middle blockers diving on the floor to try and save balls – it was everybody buying in going that hard because every ball was worth it.”
Overall, the Lady Cyclones stand at 23-14-0 on the season.

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