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Pulling off a shocker… Jr. Lady Cyclones defeat Robinson on Eighth Grade Night

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
When a team has determination and confidence, there is nothing preventing that team from achieving whatever they set their minds too.

After dropping two early matches in the season to Robinson, the Jr. Lady Cyclones of T.A. Dugger could have folded before they took to the court on Tuesday night at T.A. Dugger Middle School but instead came out with a solid resolve they were going to send their eighth graders out in style as the Jr. Lady Cyclones (7-5) dealt Robinson (8-4) a solid 2-0 match defeat.

Prior to the start of the match, eighth-grade players and their families were recognized.

The opening set was a very competitive one that saw several long volleys and nice recoveries on the Jr. Lady Cyclones side of the net as TAD managed to squeeze by the highly contested set by a 25-22 score.

With one set in their pocket, the Jr. Lady Cyclones had to battle back from an early deficit and overcome a couple of self-inflicted points for Robinson but managed to settle down and took the match win with a 25-17 victory in set two.

The win was a big motivational factor for the team and head coach Kendall Ivester believes that the win will help carry her team further as the season begins to wind down.

“It means the world to mean I know it means the world to these girls because I think they just needed this boost of confidence to know that they can do it and they can do anything that they set their mind to,” Ivester said.

“I think that we needed that and we needed that confidence and the reassurance that we are a good volleyball team when we play together.

“This puts us at 7-5 and we have three more games left and if we can just keep pushing it will help us to get a really good seed for the confidence tournament. I think it helps them realize that we can do this.”

Ivester was pleasantly happy on how her team responded to the challenge presented to them with the long volleys in the game and how the Jr, Lady Cyclones remained settled and calm to take big points in the game at key intervals.

“If that had been us at the beginning of the season we would have panicked and freaked out but I think they realize now that if I do the things that I am supposed to do and keep the ball alive and get the kill that’s exactly what they did and won those points,” Ivester commented.

With it being a night set aside to honor the eighth-grade members of the team, Ivester was asked what this group of eighth graders meant to her and to the program.

“I think that they show love through one another, I think that they show love for the game, and I think from the beginning of the summer when they made the team until now it was like a whole different group of girls,” stated Ivester.

“If you would have asked me if we could have had these awesome matches with awesome sets, I think it would have been hard to say yes. But through their love the game and for one another lifting one another up day end and day out.

“To me if I had to give it one word I would have to say it is love.”