Lineup shuffle leads East past Jefferson
Morristown East’s Rachel Cutshaw spikes against Jefferson County on Tuesday night at Isenberg-Siler Gymnasium. The Lady Hurricanes won in three matches.
Morristown East volleyball coach Holly Drinnon shuffled her lineup in an attempt to get crisper play for her team during Tuesday’s home match with Jefferson County.
It took a game for the team to settle in, but the Lady Hurricanes responded in time and swept the visiting Lady Patriots 25-16, 25-14 and 25-16 inside Isenberg-Siler Gymnasium.
With the win, the East improves to 15-6 on the season and 5-2 in Inter Mountain Conference play, keeping them two games behind Seymour and one behind Morristown West in the IMAC standings.
Rachel Cutshaw led the Lady ‘Canes with 15 kills and 15 digs in the contest, while Payton Daniels had nine digs in the win. Ellie-Kate Williams added 11 assists and five kills, while Abby Duncan had 13 assists for East.
“We shuffled the lineup because I thought we were struggling a little bit, and the girls did a great job responding to the changes and getting a win,” Drinnon said. “We played much better as the match went along, and that was something I wanted to see.”
The Lady ‘Canes wasted little time jumping on the Lady Patriots in the opening game, with a Cutshaw kill giving East a 5-1 lead. Jefferson County cut the deficit to 6-4 on a kill by Tori Griffin, but a Madisson Westmoreland kill got the Lady ‘Canes rolling.
East built the lead to 17-7 on a tip by Williams, and they played even with Jefferson County over the next few points until they closed out the game with a side out.
Cutshaw ripped two straight kills to open the second game, and Tamia Fanney added a tip before two more kills from Cutshaw made it 5-0. The Lady Patriots cut the lead to 11-10 but could get no closer.
Westmoreland came up with a big block in the middle, and by the time Peyton McDaniel served up an ace, the East lead was at 22-13. Westmoreland delivered a kill and Williams served an ace to close the second game at 25-14.
In the third game, the Lady ‘Canes jumped on top again, but two straight service aces by Jefferson County’s Rachael Leuch pulled the Lady Patriots within 9-8.
East got an ace from Daniels, a pair of kills and an ace from Cutshaw to build the lead to 22-13, and they closed the match on a kill from Williams to end the third game, 25-16.
The Lady ‘Canes will be back on the road Thursday when they travel to Sevierville to take on Sevier County in another IMAC showdown.
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor