East Hamilton, Soddy-Daisy Win In District 5-AAA Volleyball Tourney

Lady Hurricanes, Lady Trojans Earn Spots In Tuesday's Semfinals

Monday, October 7, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

The District 5-AAA volleyball tournament opened Monday with two rip-roaring, five-set matches and one that almost resembled a cakewalk at Ooltewah High School.

No. 4 seed Cleveland held off bitter rival No. 5 Bradley Central, 3-2, with a strong fifth set and third-seeded East Hamilton avoided an upset by edging No. 6 Walker Valley, 3-2. The Lady Hurricanes rallied from a 10-8 deficit in the fifth set to post the hard-earned victory.

In the nightcap, No. 2 seed Soddy-Daisy swept McMinn County, 3-0, although the Lady Trojans had to come back from a 22-20 deficit in the third set.

Cleveland won 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 25-18, 3-15.

East Hamilton ousted Walker Valley 25-16, 10-25, 13-25, 26-24, 10-15.

Soddy-Daisy cruised to a win by 25-5, 25-11, 25-22.

In Tuesday’s semifinals, No. 1 seed and regular-season champion Ooltewah, which zipped through district play 12-0 and earned a first-round bye, takes on Cleveland at 5 p.m. and East Hamilton plays Soddy-Daisy at 6:30 p.m.

The championship match is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. and the two finalists advance to the region tournament against District 6-AAA teams, with the District 5-AAA champion hosting the region tournament.

A good crowd was enthralled by the first two matches.

The Bearettes took the first set, but the Lady Blue Raiders stormed back to go ahead 2-1, winning the third set 25-23 on one of Marissa Langford’s 33 kills and Aneisha Barber’s well-placed tap.

In the nip-and-tuck fourth set, Bradley Central (21-21) built a 22-16 advantage on Rebecca Reuther’s soft-touch shot. The Bearettes’ final point resulted from Langford’s shot into the net – one of the few mistakes she made in the match.

In addition to the 33 digs, Langford finished with 16 digs and 3.5 blocks.

“I think I played pretty good,” she said. “I wanted to win this one so bad. I gave everything I had. The last set to 15 is one of the best I’ve played. It feels so great beating our rival. We were not going to lose to Bradley.”

The Bearettes were never in the final set.

Cleveland (22-22) zipped into a 10-1 lead and scored five of the last seven points in the set to rout the Bearettes, 15-3.

Langford’s kill gave the Lady Raiders a 2-1 lead and she scored nine of the team’s final 13 points, including the last four on kills, to salt away the victory.

“She played awesome,” Cleveland coach Trish Flowers said, “but she has stood out all season. I think she’s the best player in our area, just phenomenal.  We wanted this match real bad. We’re peaking at the right time, but now we have to face the Goliath (Ooltewah) of our district.”

Ooltewah comes in at 36-9 and went through the regular season unblemished. The Lady Owls won 36 of 43 sets in sweeping all six league foes. Only Soddy-Daisy them to five sets and half of Ooltewah’s district matches were shutouts.

Bradley was coming off a miserable performance in a 3-0 loss at Hamilton County in the regular-season finale. The Bearettes picked up their play against Cleveland, but it wasn’t enough as they finished the year 21-21.

“We fought hard,” said Bearettes coach Christie McElhaney, who scolded her team after the East Hamilton debacle. “Langford got in a rhythm and turned it on and we didn’t have an answer.”

Just like the first match, Walker Valley won the first set only to see East Hamilton take the second and third.

The fourth set was tied 10-10 and the Lady Mustangs (18-18) scored six straight points.

East Hamilton tied the set at 20-20 on Meredith Stott’s second of three straight kills. Her last kill in that spree knotted the game at 21-21. A Walker Valley miscue gave the Lady Hurricanes a 22-21 lead and Stott’s service point capped a 7-1 run to build a 23-21 advantage.

Stott’s well-placed soft tap tied the set at 24-all. Walker Valley’s Baylee Boen slammed home back-to-back kills, the last ending a long back-and-forth volley and the set.

In the do-or-die fifth, Walker Valley had a 10-8 lead, but East Hamilton’s Emma Lenoir, the district’s co-player of the year along with Ooltewah’s Courtlyn Ison, scored on one of her 21 kills – she also had 22 digs, 14 assists and two aces – to give the Lady Hurricanes a 12-10 lead.

Briley Considine’s kill produced a three-point spread. Sydney Harris scored a service point and Lenoir’s kill ended the match.

“This was a pretty tough match,” Lenoir said. “When we were down 10-8 we just stayed focused on getting the next point.”

Coach Kristy Lenoir, Emma’s mother, called the match a dogfight.

“And we knew it would be,” she said. “Walker Valley came out extremely strong and we were back on our heels. It took us a while to wake up and get going. I’m thankful to have won this match.”

Coach Lorri Johnson’s Lady Trojans, who have won six straight matches and 12 of their last 13, took it to outclassed McMinn County (8-21), winning the first two sets in short order.

Soddy-Daisy built a quick 9-1 lead and coasted to an easy win in the first set. The Lady Cherokees (8-21) didn’t fare much better in the second set, losing by 20 points.

McMinn County found a spark in the third set.

After trailing 2-0 the Cherokees outscored the Lady Trojans (40-16) 15-9 and grabbed a 15-13 lead when Soddy-Daisy’s Lauren Smith netted a serve.

From a 22-22 tie the Lady Trojans closed out the match with successive kills – one by Smith and two from Haley Reynolds, the team’s only senior.

“We started with strong passing, some power, put the ball down and pretty much dominated the first two sets,” Lady Trojans coach Lorri Johnson said. “You have to give McMinn credit for fighting in that third set.

“Now we’re going to face East Hamilton, which is playing hard and they will be tough to beat. We’re going to have to play smart and make some shots to win.”

Monday’s Results

Match 1 – Cleveland defeated Bradley Central 25-21, 15-25, 23-25, 25-18, 3-15

Match 2 – East Hamilton defeated Walker Valley 25-16, 10-25, 13-25, 26-24, 10-15

Match 3 – Soddy-Daisy defeated McMinn County 25-5, 25-11, 25-22

Tuesday’s schedule

5 p.m. – No. 1 Ooltewah (36-9) vs. No. 4 Cleveland (22-22)

6:30 p.m. – No. 3 East Hamilton (25-16) vs. Soddy-Daisy (40-16)


Cleveland 3, Bradley Central 2

Cleveland: Aces – Addie Strode 4, Eva Wilhelm 4, Kellee Geren 4, K.K. Clements 3, Lauren Lee 3; Kills – Marissa Langford 33, Allison Botts 3, Aneisha Barber 3, Strode 2, Geren 2, Amber Morman 2; Assists – Geren 39, Strode 1, Morman 1; Blocks – Langford 3.5, Allison Botts 3, Barber 1, Morman .5; Digs – Wilhelm 35, Langford 16, Clements 15, Geren 12, Kayla Lee 11, Strode 7, Barber 4, Morman 4, Botts 3, L. Lee 1, Lauren Borst 1, Sammie Kate Eason 1.

Bradley Central: Rebecca Reuter – 13 kills, 5.5 blocks, 3 digs; Brooke Copeland – 16 kills, 3 blocks, 19 digs, 3 aces; Halle Hughes – 16 aces, 7 digs, 2 aces; Natalie Jennings – 11 kills, 3 blocks, 1 ace; McKenna Stinnett – 22 aces, 9 digs; Chanler Grady – 27 digs; Lisa Duvall – 13 digs, 1 ace; Julia Gaither – 27 digs, 2 kills, 1 ace; Monica Johnson – 3 kills, 1 block.

East Hamilton 3, Walker Valley 2

Walker Valley: Ashlyn Flock --  3 aces, 17 assists, 1 kill, 11 digs; Madison Pruett – 13 kills, 11 digs, 10 receptions; Baylee Boen – 2 aces, 13 kills, 1 block, 9 digs, 7 receptions; Katelin Scoggins – 6 digs, 15 receptions; Rachel Lawhorn – 1 block, 9 kills, 1 dig; Alex Rominger 1 ace, 6 digs, 10 receptions; Abbi Mason – 3 assists, 2 kills, 4 digs; Abby Campbell – 1 ace, 12 assists, 5 digs; Nikki Prugh – 2 kills, 1 dig; Alexan Crittenden – 1 assist, 2 kills, 1 dig; Gracie Pierce – 4 receptions; Sara Wilson – 2 digs; Mikayla Lumpkin – 3 digs.

East Hamilton: Sydney Harris – 30 assists, 16 digs, 2 aces; Briley Considine – 7 kills, 18 digs, 1 assist, 3 aces; Miranda Roberson 4 digs, 2 kills, .5 blocks; Samantha Headrick ­– 8 digs; Emma Lenoir 21 kills, 22 digs, 14 assists, 2 aces; Somer Batten – 4 kills, 8 digs, 2 aces; Meredith Stott – 13 kills, 2.5 blocks; Brenna Shaw – 3 digs, 1 ace; Kris Joo – 1 kill, 27 digs, 1 ace.

Soddy-Daisy 3, McMinn County 0

Soddy-Daisy: Haley Reynolds – 10 kills, 3 blocks; Hannah Robertson – 10 digs, 1 assists; Chloe Mitchell – 12 digs, 2 kills, 22 assists, 3 aces; Lauren Smith – 3 aces, 7 kills, 3 blocks, 14 digs; Karigan Fulghum – 6 digs, 1 kill, 6 aces; 2 assists; Abby Walker – 4 kills, 2 blocks; Alex Volker – 4 kills, 2 blocks.

All-District Regular Season Team for 5-AAA

Co-Player of the Year – Courtlyn Ison, Ooltewah

Co-Player of the Year – Emma Lenoir, East Hamilton

Sloan Sullivan – Ooltewah

Hanna Matthews – Ooltewah

Haley Reynolds – Soddy-Daisy

Hannah Robertson – Soddy-Daisy

Chloe Mitchell – Soddy-Daisy

Briley Considine – East Hamilton

Sydney Harris – East Hamilton

Marissa Langford – Cleveland

Kellee Geren – Cleveland

Brooke Copeland – Bradley Central

Rebecca Reuter – Bradley Central

Madison Pruett – Walker Valley

Rachael Longhorn – Walker Valley

Rachel Burke – McMinn County

Honorable Mention

Ooltewah – Josie Cain, Alex Biro

Soddy-Daisy – Lauren Smith

Cleveland – Kayla Lee, Eva Wilhelm

Bradley Central – Julia Gaither

McMinn County – Haley Hambri

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

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