Lady ‘Canes start slow, still sweep past Cherokee
ROGERSVILLE — After falling behind 11-4 during game one, the Morristown East High Lady Hurricanes volleyball squad looked to be the victim of an unexpected upset against Cherokee on Tuesday night in Rogersville.
However, the heavily favored Lady ‘Canes put the early deficit behind them and rolled to a three match sweep over the Lady Chiefs.
Morristown East picked up wins of 25-17, 25-16, and 25-13 to improve to 23-8 overall.
Despite the early scare, Lady Hurricanes coach Holly Drinnon said her troops picked up the pace as the night progressed.
“We started out a little slow tonight, but we’ve been working on a lot of different things lately,” said Drinnon. “We’ve had a lot of changes in the lineup and we were missing a few players. They got used to what we were doing and they forced us to really step up. I’m proud of the girls for turning things around and finishing strong.”
In game one, the Lady Chiefs jump started to the 11-4 lead, but kills from Tamia Fanney and Madisson Westmoreland closed the gap to 11-9. The Lady ‘Canes then took a 12-11 lead on back-to-back kills from Westmoreland, which helped cap off an eventual 10-0 run.
Later in the match, the Lady Chiefs had trouble returning the serves of Rachel Cutshaw, and Fanney ended the 25-17 match on a kill.
In the second game, Morristown East raced to a 10-6 lead after an ace from Sarah Dent. Cutshaw extended the lead to 14-8 on a kill. Cutshaw continued the strong service game for the Lady ‘Canes with an ace upping the advantage to 21-12. Senior Peyton McDaniel closed the game out with vengeance after serving an ace for the 25-16 victory.
In the final match, Morristown East led 9-4 after an ace from Cutshaw. The quick lead forced Cherokee coach Kelli Hughes to call a timeout, but the Lady ‘Canes continued to add pressure.
Ellie-Kate Williams picked up an ace and Payton Daniels added back-to-back aces to extend the lead to 20-11. Abby Duncan later closed out the 25-13 victory with a service point.
At this point in the season, Drinnon says the Lady ‘Canes are quietly becoming a better team each and every day.
“I feel we are doing very well as a team,” commented Drinnon. “We are constantly learning and we are on the upward curve on trying different things. Everyday we are climbing and hopefully we reach the top of our potential when it matters the most.”
Against Cherokee, Cutshaw led the way with 15 kills, while Duncan had 15 assists and Williams 12. McDaniel led the defensive charge with eight digs.
-By Chris Ayers, Assistant Sports Editor