Bradley Overwhelms East Hamilton, 3-0, In 5-AAA Volleyball

Bearettes Stymie Lady Hurricanes With Solid Net Play

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - by Larry Fleming

Bradley Central’s Monica Johnson and Natalie Jennings threw up a two-player wall at the net and the Bearettes overwhelmed host East Hamilton, 3-0, in a District 5-AAA volleyball match on Thursday.

Johnson and Jennings, both juniors, combined for 15 blocks and 21 kills as the Bearettes completed the sweep by set scores of 25-23, 25-5 and 25-15.

Bradley Central improved to 7-3 overall and 2-2 in the district with the lopsided victory.

“There’s no comparison to this match and our last match in terms of how well the girls played,” Bradley coach Christie McElhaney said. “This rotation came out and played the way they’ve played numerous times this year. This is the way these girls are capable of playing.”

Johnson finished with 16 kills and 10 blocks while Jennings added five blocks and five kills.

“I’m 6-foot-1 and Natalie’s about the same,” Johnson said. “We had a really good team talk (Wednesday) at practice and that got us more mentally prepared than we have been in the past. We weren’t thinking about (defending) any one girl from East Hamilton, but just wanted to play together as a team. It’s more than just me at Nat. It takes the whole team.”

East Hamilton coach Kristy Lenoir, whose Lady Hurricanes fell to 4-2, 1-2, couldn’t say the same for her squad.

“We were not ready and didn’t take the match seriously,” she said. “We were emotionally flat. We are not a team that is person-to-person athletically good enough to be nonchalant about any opponent. This (effort) was completely unacceptable. “If my girls are OK with this they better be prepared to not enjoy any practice from here on out because there will be nothing enjoyable about them. When you step on that floor you better act like you want to be there.”

The two teams fought tooth-and-nail throughout the first set before the Bearettes’ got kills from Johnson and Kateland West for the final two points.

The Lady Hurricanes got a kill and two service points by Samantha Headrick for a 17-15 lead, but Bearettes ran off seven straight points – a West kill, two service points by Halle Hughes, two scoring blocks and a soft-touch placement by Jennings and Lisa Duvall’s kill shot down the middle – to grab a 21-17 advantage.

East Hamilton pulled to within 24-23 when Johnson’s kill sailed out wide right before West’s kill decided the outcome.

East Hamilton’s lethargic play reached a zenith while Bradley maintained its inspired effort for a second-set rout.

The Bearettes raced to a 10-2 lead and Tori Harris scored for the Lady Hurricanes on a well-placed tap.

Bradley, however, scored 12 of the next 13 points for a 22-5 advantage. Johnson had four kills in that stretch and added another for the final point that gave the Bearettes a dominating 20-point win.

East Hamilton’s Emma Lenoir, the 2013 District 5-AAA Co-Player of the Year with Ooltewah’s Courtlyn Ison, failed to score in the second set.

“We worked hard on transitioning, moving our feet and getting lined up,” Jennings said of the net play that frustrated the Lady Hurricanes. “I’ve not played this well in school ball until today.”

Johnson and Jennings patiently waited their turn to shine while sitting in the long shadows of Brooke Copeland and Rebecca Reuter – both Division I basketball signees. When their time to take over the front line came this season, they were ready to shine.

“I’m excited about that,” Jennings said. “I want to take advantage of the opportunities I get, be a good leader and play to the best of my ability.”

In the third set, Bradley worked into a 10-7 lead on Julia Gaither’s kill and the Bearettes took that play and ran with it, scoring eight of the next 10 points for an 18-9 cushion.

A Lenoir kill and a service point by Headrick moved the Lady Hurricanes to within 18-11, but the only other East Hamilton points the rest of the way came off Bradley misplays.

After two such miscues, Jennings blocked Lenoir for a point, Johnson had two kills and Reagan Morrison clinched the match with a kill.

Emma Lenoir credited the Bearettes with outstanding defense at the net, but didn’t back away from the challenge.

“They have some big hitters and big girls that can block the ball,” said Lenoir, the daughter of East Hamilton’s coach. “That’s the best I’ve faced this year, but I’m not going to let down just because somebody blocks me. I’ll just keep going harder. I’ll work harder for the next one.”

Statistics

Bradley Central  

Monica Johnson – 16 kills, 10 blocks

Natalie Jennings – 5 kills, 5 blocks

McKenna Stinnett – 10 assists, 3 aces

Lisa Duvall – 7 digs, 2 kills, 1 block

Halle Hughes – 6 assists, 2 aces

Gabby Ghassedi – 4 digs, 1 kill

Chanler Grady – 3 assists, 1 ace

Kateland West – 2 kills

Julia Gaither – 1 ace

East Hamilton

Emma Lenoir – 10 digs, 7 kills, 3 assists

Tori Harris – 5 digs, 2 assists, 1 ace

Autumn Lowrie – 9 assists, 3 digs

Somer Batten – 4 digs, 3 kills

Meredith Stott – 4 aces, 2 kills, 1 block

Samantha Headrick – 3 digs, 2 kills, 1 ace

Kayli Jones – 1 kill

Jillian Harris – 1 ace

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 


Chattanooga Volleyball Hosts UNCG, Mercer

The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team returns to Maclellan Gym   Friday   and   Saturday   after a four-match road trip kept the team away from the Scenic City for two weekends.  UTC welcomes UNCG and Mercer to campus for a couple of   6 p.m.   matchups, beginning with Greensboro   Friday . Currently commanding third in ... (click for more)

Scots Soccer Ranked 10th Regionally

The Covenant men's soccer team continues to be ranked regionally as both the NCAA and the NSCAA have released their rankings this week. The Scots are No. 6 in the NCAA South Atlantic rankings and are 10th regionally in the NSCAA. This is the first week that the NCAA has released its region ranks. Covenant is 9-4-2 on the year and 5-1-1 inside the USA South. The Scots are the ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon, Then 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Later Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)