Despite Sloppy Finish, Lady Raiders Sweep McMinn

Cleveland Improves To 2-0 In District 5-3A Volleyball

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - by Larry Fleming

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland High School’s volleyball team came close to completely satisfying its coach Tuesday.

The Lady Raiders then got lazy.

Coach Trish Flowers, who has another state tournament contender on her hands this season, let the squad feel her displeasure in the postgame huddle.

“I was within just a few minutes of being in a good mood,” said Flowers, who led the Lady Raiders to their first Class 3A state tourney in 2016.

“The first two sets our girls played great. In Game 3, they got lazy. Our leadership let us down; we weren’t fundamental and made a lot of unforced errors.

“They didn’t finish and that can’t happen. For a team of the caliber as ours, it should not happen.”

But it did.

Still, Cleveland pounced on the Lady Cherokees and pulled off its second straight 3-0 sweep in District 5-3A action. Set scores were 25-9, 25-9, 25-20.

The Lady Raiders aided McMinn County’s first 14 points in the final set until sophomore middle hitter Ashley Baxter scored on a two-hand spike at the net.

The Lady Cherokees scored five straight points prior to Baxter’s shot. A Baxter shot that sailed long stopped McMinn’s scoring spree, but five consecutive miscues by Cleveland – two were back-to-back double hits by senior Emma Flowers – allowed the Lady Cherokees to pull within 24-20.

McMinn sophomore Moriah Erwin’s net-serve provided Cleveland with its 25th point and ended the match.

“Seriously, that’s what usually happens to us,” McMinn County coach Lynn Monroe said. “If you can get serves over and keep the ball in play, you’ve got a chance. Cleveland made mistakes in that third game just like we do. We tell the girls: ‘don’t try to do too much, just get the ball in play.’

“We’re not the most skilled team. We don’t have girls playing club ball. I want them to play their best, do what they can do and we’ll walk away proud.”

For the three-set match, McMinn County got 34 of 38 total points off unforced errors or other miscues by the Lady Raiders.

“We shouldn’t lay down like that,” Cleveland’s Sophia Lakatosh said. “We were beating them pretty easy up to the third game. If we let down like that against good teams it won’t be good. We have to finish it off.”

Coach Flowers added: “We were heading for a 100 percent positive story about the match. “We were shocked the girls were playing so well against McMinn. We almost ended the match with a great huddle, but they finish the match. So, the huddle was not so enjoyable.”

In the first two games, the Lady Raiders played like they wanted to get to an early dinner, going up 2-0 with identical 25-9 wins.

McMinn scored first to open the first set, but Cleveland ran off 17 of the next 18 points to take the upper hand.

Serving was a key reason. Sophia Lakatosh served up four aces among Cleveland’s first seven points. Anna Renshaw, Hannah Longley and Kenli Young also recorded aces in the first game.

Longley also finished with match-high 15 digs.

“I felt good serving,” Lakatosh said. “I needed to practice placing my serves and I was happy I did so well.”

The Lady Raiders were up 21-9 and closed out the opener with four straight points. Renshaw had an ace and a slap shot and Emma Flowers ended it with her fourth kill. Madeline Dasher also had four kills in the first set.

Renshaw had six assists in the opener and finished with 18.

Flowers ended up with 11 kills and 18 assists as the Lady Raiders improved to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in district play.

In Set 2, McMinn again recorded the first point only to see Cleveland scored 11 in a row. The Lady Raiders were up 15-6 and closed out the game scoring 10 of the last 13 points. Lakatosh had two kills; Renshaw a slam and ace; Lily Oliver a kill and game-ending tap; Flowers a two-hand tap and Nicole Glaser an ace.

Oliver wound up with nine kills.

Cleveland finished the match with 16 aces, 39 kills and 27 assists.

Monroe said the parent of a current player is spearheading the establishment of a club team for the Lady Cherokees and that could be a positive step for improving the high school program.

“The parent actually kind of started a club team this year to see how it goes,” Monroe said. “Next year he will have a full-fledged team. He’s got all the paperwork done and for the next couple of years we should start seeing some improvement. We’ve never had club ball and we have no feeder programs.”

STATISTICS

Cleveland

Anna Renshaw – 2 aces, 5 digs, 4 kills, 18 assists

Emma Flowers – 11 kills, 7 assists, 8 digs, 2 aces

Hannah Longley – 15 digs, 1 kill, 2 assists, 2 aces

Josie Collins – 1 dig

Joy Douglass – 2 aces, 1 kill

Kenli Young – 1 ace, 1 dig

Lily Oliver – 1 block, 2 digs, 9 kills

Lydia Martin – 5 digs

Madeline Dasher – 1 dig

Nicole Glaser – 4 digs, 2 aces

Sophia Lakatosh – 5 aces, 5 digs, 2 kills

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)



Cleveland Boys Second In Large Division Track

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Keegan Jones won the 200 dash and teammate Benjedi Casseus won the 110 high hurdles to help the Cleveland boys finish second in the Division I-Large class division of the state track meet at MTSU Thursday night. Brentwood was first with 62 points while the Blue Raiders were a close runner-up with 58. Jones won the 200 with a time of 21.10 seconds after ... (click for more)

Summertown Beats Sale Creek, 1-0, In Class 1A State Softball Tourney

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – After winning its first two games in the TSSAA Class 1A state softball tournament, Sale Creek ran into Summertown in the winner’s bracket final on Thursday. The Lady Eagles beat the Lady Panthers, 7-1, and advanced to the championship game on Friday at 2 p.m. For Sale Creek to get another shot at Summertown, it has to knock off Cascade in Friday’s ... (click for more)

Donaldson Tells Jury He Shot Son-In-Law After Knife Was Pulled On Him; Medical Examiner Says Fatal Shot Was From 3 Inches Away

Glen Donaldson took the witness stand Thursday in the attempt to explain how two good friends ended up with one dead and the other facing a first-degree murder charge.   On the night of Dec. 29, 2016, he texted his son-in-law, Adam Levi, and arranged to pick up bed rails for his daughter, who had left items when she moved out of their house. After loading the rails, ... (click for more)

East Ridge Discussing New Animal Shelter, As Well As Field House At East Ridge High

Two new projects suggested by citizen groups dominated the discussion at the East Ridge City Council meeting  Thursday night. Because they were not published on the agenda, no decisions could be made, but the council was in agreement that more consideration was merited about the city building a new animal shelter and dog park, and for building a field house for athletics at ... (click for more)

Speaking Of A Cove

Mr. Sole Commissioner Whitfield,   I live in  a cove in western most Chattanooga. My back yard is woods. My front yard is woodland too. My neighbors and I had chance to voice our disagreement in 1996 to the proposed sale of a portion of the farm that dominated this cove and we did. There weren’t very many of us. One member of the group that listened to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 'Don't Dare Endorse Me!'

When Joe Smith, a member of the Hamilton County School Board, met with officials of the UnifiEd political action committee on Tuesday, his instructions to his somber listeners were very specific. He told the leaders of the now-tainted education non-profit group. “Do not endorse me. I extended the courtesy of answering your questions … I am eager to do the right thing. But I am saying ... (click for more)