• 59°

Lady Cyclones open volleyball season with 3-1 win over visiting North

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Call it opening-night jitters, call it a limited time on the court, or call it whatever you may want to but the end result will still be the same as the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones opened up their 2020 volleyball campaign by taking care of the Lady Raiders of Sullivan North by a 3-1 tally.
“There were definitely some jitters that took place tonight,” said Lady Cyclone head coach Leslee Bradley. “Part of it is that we just haven’t been on the court against another team and we have new people all around the court.
“And part of it is just getting used to who does what and when we can be aggressive and when we need to pull back and just be smart with the ball. It’s just different things like that and knowing the game and having an opportunity to test that out against another team.
“Really, we haven’t had the chance to do that and I think that was a combination of the two.”
After opening the match by taking set one by a 25-12 score, Elizabethton soon found out that the feisty bunch of gold and black-clad ladies across the net came to play with some spunk as North quickly evened things at one set apiece by taking a 25-23 win in set two.
The Lady Cyclones managed to regroup between sets as Bradley’s squad hit the floor after the set break and took control early to take a 2-1 advantage, 25-16.
With their backs against the wall, the Lady Raiders continued to play smart and aggressive with some rocket serves and tough play at the net.
Unfortunately for North, it would be too little too late as the Lady Cyclones took a tight 25-21 set four to seal the match and go 1-0 on the season.
Senior Brittany Kitchens and junior Mattie Davis led the Lady Cyclones with 13 digs apiece in the match while senior Kallista DePrimo added 12 as well.
Davis and Cheyenne Poiroux were solid at the net with eight kills apiece. Poiroux and Davis also were tops in aces served as Poiroux led with eight and Davis five.
DePrimo added four aces with Makaiah Williams and Kitchens collecting three apiece.
“We have to make sure we have that balance of when to be super aggressive and when we need to pull back,” Bradley said. “We just try to do too much with the bad balls. I just keep telling them that you can’t try to do too much with a bad ball.
“Every time you get that opportunity you learn from it and they are a good group of girls and we will learn from it. We just haven’t had enough repetitions to work on that yet.”
Bradley gave North credit for coming into the match with a hunger and desire to be competitive enough to win.
“They played smart and hard. They really settled down after that first set and really made us make some different kinds of decisions. They did a lot of different things with their offense. It was a good match.”
Elizabethton traveled to Greeneville on Tuesday evening for a contest with the Lady Green Devils in freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity action.