Soddy Daisy Sweeps Hixson In Pinkout Volleyball

Lady Trojans Roll To 37th Win In Johnson's Absence

Monday, September 30, 2013 - by John Hunt

The color of the day was pink and the biggest winner had to be the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation.

It was Pinkout Day on Monday as Soddy Daisy came to Hixson for a non-district volleyball match where all the proceeds benefitted the popular breast cancer organization. 

There was a lot of pink, from the jerseys to the boundary lines on the floor to the flags, table cloths and balloons.  The ball was also pink as was one of the referee's belts.  Each person on both teams was presented a pink rose as they played in honor or memory of someone who has been affected by this horrible disease.

There were plenty of hugs and smiles to go around during the pre-match festivities, but it was all Soddy Daisy once the action began.

The Lady Trojans were simply the better team on this occasion as they improved to 37-16 with the 3-0 victory by scores of 25-12, 25-17 and 25-22.

Soddy Daisy coach Lorri Johnson wasn't present as she was in East Tennessee for a library dedication at Norris Elementary School.  Lorri's mother passed away a month ago and she was honored by a school where she had served as the librarian for some 48 years on a day that would have been her birthday.

Andrea Johnson, a former all-state player for the Lady Trojans, stepped in as a substitute coach for her mother.  She reallyh didn't have to do much coaching as all she had to do was basically sit back and watch as the Lady Trojans pretty much dominated from start to finish.

"Normally this team has a roller-coaster start, but I thought that we were more consistent tonight," Andrea said in her first post-match interview.

"Their biggest hitter went out early and that was  a big blow to Hixson, but we refused to let them come back and pretty much got the job done," the UTC senior who is majoring in chemistry added.

Hixson scored the first point in the first set before Soddy Daisy rebounded with eight of the next 10 points and the Lady Trojans were well on their way to victory.

An 8-0 start in the second set pretty much set the tone in round two while the third set was the closest of the match.

Soddy Daisy had a 20-15 lead and looked like they would finish without much trouble, but Hixson rallied with four straight points to knot the score at 22-all following an ace by Morgan White.

A kill by Soddy Daisy's Karigan Fulghum got the Lady Trojans back on track and they added two more points in a hurry to complete the sweep.

Hixson coach Janet Tate, who has coached most of these Soddy Daisy girls at Loftis Middle School, felt like the hoopla of the event may have been to much for her team to overcome.

"I guess we may have gotten caught up in the event more than the match, but we just didn't come to play tonight.  I liked the way we fought in the third set, but Soddy Daisy has a good team as they can hit and they serve well," Tate expressed.

"It was tough losing Paige Lawson.  Marissa Murray came ready to compete, but she was about the only one.  We still have a lot of work to do and it's getting late as the district tournament starts next week," she added.

Hannah Robertson had 18 digs for the Lady Trojans while Chloe Mitchell had 22 assists and Abby Walker 11 kills.

Haley Reynolds, the only senior on the team who delivered a beautiful rendition of the national anthem before the match began, finished with three blocks and eight kills.

Statistical leaders were few and far between for Hixson, although Murray finished with five kills and Ceria Taylor had five digs and four kills.  Morgan White had eight digs in addition to one kill and an ace.

The Lady Wildcats are now 16-20.

Both teams return to district action on Tuesday with Soddy Daisy hosting Cleveland and Hixson hosting Tyner.

SODDY DAISY STATS;

Hannah Robertson -- 18 digs, 1 ace, 2 kills;

Chloe Mitchell -- 5 digs, 1 ace, 22 assists, 5 kills;

Haley Reynolds -- 1 dig, 1 assist, 8 kills, 3 blocks;

Alex Volker -- 3 kills, 1 block;

Lauren Smith -- 10 digs, 2 aces, 3 assists, 3 kills, 1 block;

Karigan Fulghum -- 6 digs, 2 aces, 4 assists, 4 kills, 1 block;

Abby Walker -- 6 digs, 3 aces, 11 kills, 1 block.

HIXSON STATS:

Marissa Murray -- 5 kills;

Ceria Taylor -- 2 aces, 4 kills, 5 digs;

Abby Tipton -- 6 digs;

Morgan White -- 1 ace, 1 kill, 8 digs;

Bailey Burba -- 1 kill, 2 assists;

Tatyona Staten -- 2 kills, 3 blocks;

Cayla Jacob -- 1 kill;

Courtney Jones -- 2 kills, 1 block.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


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