Lady Cyclones ready to go to war at the net
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 2021
BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones have wrapped up their summer camps and are entering their scrimmage season as they look to get into the heat of the battle this season in volleyball action which is just around the corner.
Lady Cyclone head coach Leslee Bradley says that her team is fired up and really excited about the upcoming season which features a different look as far as the district goes.
“We are excited about the season,” Bradley said during media day at the school. “We have a lot of returners back but we are still a young team.
“The youth that we have has good experience under their belts so we are deep. It’s a brand new conference with the TSSAA redistricting everything.
“We are just kind of going in with a blank slate but we feel like we play the game well so we are excited for the season to get here to see what we can do.”
Even though the Lady Cyclones graduated some key players from last season, there are a lot of positive points that Bradley can put her finger on early in the 2021 season.
“I think some of the strengths for the season is that we have a really good offensive team and that we can mix it up offensively,” stated Bradley. “We serve very well – I think other teams are going to have problems handling our serve and we just have good chemistry together.”
With only one senior on this season’s team, Bradley really likes who that one senior is and will be counting on her heavily to provide leadership to the underclassmen.
“We are going to count heavily on Mattie Davis who is the only senior on the team and was our MVP last year. She just brings that mindset that we are going to play as hard as we can and we are going to win every point so you have to have that mindset just as well as the ability and Maddie really provides that for us,” commented Bradley.
There are other players who have playing experience under their belts that Bradley feels will need to have a good season for the Lady Cyclones to be successful.
“Jayci Bowers will be our setter and running the offense. She just is really great at communicating with her hitters and making sure that the ball is in the right spot so we can be as effective as well,” according to Bradley.
“Cheyenne Poiroux is coming back as another returning starter and is a big hitter on the outside.”
One of the trademarks in the Lady Cyclone program has been the height they have been able to put at the net. This season that height lies in the ranks of the younger members of the team as Bradley said, “We are a little shorter this year. We have a lot of younger height but they are not ready yet. We are not short by any means but we are not tall either.”
When asked about the new realignment, Bradley picked out three teams that the Lady Cyclones will be looking at battling for a conference title.
“Sullivan East is still in the conference and a big-time rival and a team that we circle and they circle us on the calendar,” Bradley said. “Tennessee High is new to the conference and they have a really good strong program so we are looking forward to seeing what they are going to do.
“Unicoi Co. returns a phenomenal outside hitter so we have to figure out how to contain her. I think those three teams are the ones that we will have to look out for but any given team on a given night can play good volleyball.”
The one goal on the minds of this season’s squad is getting back to the level that Cyclone volleyball has become accustomed to.
“That’s definitely the goal,” added Bradley. “We are the host school this year and are looking forward to hosting the district and getting the job done and hosting the regional as well to go down the road somewhere.”
The Lady Cyclones open their season on August 16th at home against Greeneville.