In a match that may help determine second place in the District 5-AAA volleyball standings, East Hamilton’s Lady Hurricanes defeated Soddy-Daisy, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon at East Hamilton’s gymnasium.
Soddy-Daisy claimed the first set, 25-13, but the Lady Hurricanes stormed back to win three in a row – 25-17, 25-22 and 25-14.
Senior Sydney Harris had 36 assists, 13 digs and two kills and sophomore Emma Lenoir added 35 kills, 11 digs, 11 assists and .5 blocks to pace the Lady Hurricanes in a win that snapped the Lady Trojans’ four-match winning streak.
The three-point win was huge for East Hamilton (17-10, 5-3).
“We went back-and-forth with them,” Lady Hurricanes coach Kristy Lenoir said. “We got a pretty good lead and Soddy-Daisy kept creeping back. We had a 23-19 lead, but we were out of rotation on our serve and lost a point to 22-20. Thankfully, we kept our heads and kept working to win that one.
“Anytime you win a game it’s big. But to win a tight one like that was good.”
The Lady Hurricanes, who lost to Soddy-Daisy, 3-0, on Aug. 27 and were 1-3 after their first four district matches, have rebounded from the slow start and now find themselves in the heat of a fight for second place behind Ooltewah, which is unbeaten (8-0) in league play.
After Thursday’s win East Hamilton is 17-10 overall and 5-3 in the district. Ooltewah is 8-0 and hosts East Hamilton on Thursday.
“In our first match with Soddy-Daisy,” Lenoir said, “we were up 17-4 and lost that game 26-24. We were flat and lost that match by a total of eight points. That one set proved to us that you have to play with intensity, emotion, drive and a sense of urgency from start to finish. We stress that. Not many people blow a 13-point lead in volleyball.”
The Lady Hurricanes were buoyed by their third-set win and were determined to avenge the early-season district loss to the Lady Trojans (28-12, 4-4), who entertain Baylor on Wednesday at 5:30.
“I think the third-game loss took a little steam out of them and built us up,” Lenoir said. “After that we put the pedal to the metal and put pressure on them. We kept the ball in play, served well and had a solid final three games.
“We kept reminding the girls to stay focused and fight hard to the end.”
Lenoir said her squad played terrible in the opening set while the Lady Trojans came out of the gate with a purpose. But the match pivoted on the third-set outcome.
“This was a huge win for us,” Lenoir said. “Soddy-Daisy is a very good team and they’ve won a lot of ballgames. They’re good defensively and keep the ball in play. We needed to play with emotion and excitement (Tuesday) and I think we did that. We needed this. It’s an important win and I’m happy about everything except that first game.”
Loren Smith had 34 assists and seven kills for Soddy-Daisy. Abby Walker added 12 digs, eight kills and one block while Haley Reynolds had 14 kills and five blocks.
“We dominated the first set,” Soddy-Daisy coach Lorri Johnson said. “We played smart, attacked aggressively and served well. After that we pretty much went brain-dead. We didn’t play smart, didn’t read their attacks and didn’t adjust defensively.
“I feel like we lost it in that second set by losing confidence and strategy and passing off-target, and when that happens to you don’t get to attack.”
Haley Reynolds – 14 kills, 5 blocks
Hannah Robertson – 24 digs
Chloe Mitchell – 34 assists, 7 kills
Loren Smith – 21 digs, 10 kills, 3 assists
Karigan Fulghum – 4 kills
Abby Walker – 12 digs, 8 kills, 1 block
Alex Volker – 2 kills
Amber Hatfield – 3 aces
Sydney Harris – 36 assists, 13 digs, 2 kills
Briley Considine – 7 kills, 14 digs, 1 ace, .5 blocks
Miranda Roberson – 2 digs, 1 block
Samantha Headrick – 5 kills, 15 digs, 1 ace
Emma Lenoir – 35 kills, 11 digs, 11 assists, 7 aces, .5 blocks
Somer Batten – 2 digs
Meredith Stott – 5 kills, 1.5 blocks
Brenna Shaw – 1 ace
Kris Joo – 25 digs, 1 kill
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org)