East pulls upset on Senior night
The East volleyball team celebrated Senior night on Tuesday at Isenberg-Siler Gymnasium. Pictured (left to right) Assistant Coach Sarah Wilson, Abby Duncan, Peyton McDaniel, Rachel Cutshaw, and Head Coach Holly Drinnon.
Senior night was special for more than one reason Tuesday night for the Morristown East Lady Hurricanes volleyball team.
Not only did seniors Rachel Cutshaw, Peyton McDaniel and Abby Duncan play their final home match inside Isenberg-Siler Gymnasium, but they won the match against the top team in the Inter Mountain Conference, the Seymour Lady Eagles.
The Lady ‘Canes atoned for an earlier loss to the Lady Eagles by handing them their first district loss of the season, and they did it in straight sets, 25-23, 27-25 and 25-19.
With the win, East improves to 23-9 overall and 10-3 in IMAC play, assuring them the No. 3 seed in the District 2-AAA tournament next week. The loss dropped the Lady Eagles to 12-1 in IMAC action, with a rivalry matchup with Sevier County on Thursday left to close out their regular season.
“This is big win for us, and it’s even better that we stopped their unbeaten conference record and did it in three games,” Lady ‘Canes coach Holly Drinnon said. ‘I’m very proud of the girls. They played to their potential tonight.”
All three seniors played a big role in the upset win, and Cutshaw had a huge night with 24 digs, 21 kills, 17 service points and two aces in the win. McDaniel added 14 digs and 12 points, while Duncan recorded 38 assists and 11 points in the victory.
Madisson Westmoreland added 17 kills, eight points and two blocks, while Ellie-Kate Williams and Rebeca Anderson had 11 points each. Acea Jones tacked on six kills in the win.
“It was a total team effort,” Drinnon said about so many players contributing in the win. “We couldn’t have asked for much more than that. They played well and played together as a team and came out on top.”
Seymour played without the services of middle hitter Victoria Nelson, and her absence was exploited by the Lady ‘Canes. Cutshaw and Westmoreland had open opportunities at the net for much of the match, and they did their fair share of scoring.
Seymour led late into the first game, but back-to-back kills by Cutshaw and Jones put East on top 22-20.
The Lady Eagles knotted the score at 23, but Anderson won a point for the Lady ‘Canes with a tip, and a side out ended the game, 25-23.
The second game was more of the same, with Seymour holding a 19-14 lead until Cutshaw hit a hot streak at the net. The senior pounded a pair of kills and added a tipped winner to tie the score at 20, and the teams battled back and forth until Westmoreland pummeled the game-winning kill to end the set, 27-25.
Seymour held the early lead in the third game before the Lady ‘Canes reeled off a 12-4 run behind Cutshaw, Westmoreland and Duncan to take a 20-12 lead. The Lady Eagles cut the deficit to 23-19, but Cutshaw smashed two straight kills to end the match and Seymour’s unbeaten IMAC mark.
East will close out their regular season Thursday with a trip to Dumplin Valley to take on Jefferson County. The match will be held at the Patriot Academy in Dandridge.
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor