Jefferson County hadn’t dropped any sets in conference play this season other than to Morristown East and that streak remained alive Monday night as the Lady Patriots downed the Lady Trojans of Morristown West 25-16, 25-16, 25-13.
With the victory, Jefferson County moves to 6-0 in the league standings.
The story of the match was the play of Lady Patriots’ senior Abby Blankenship who seemed to be all over the floor. Jefferson County head coach Tori Yocum said Blankenship is one of the top reasons for her teams’ success. “Abbey is just so smart in the front row and knows exactly where to place it. Not only can she place it well, she has the power behind it. Abbey is just a hard player to face because even in practice with our players, they struggle to handle her sometimes even though they have seen her play forever. She had good energy all night and had some good blocks from the outside and did a good job of cutting off some spots to help our defense as well.”
“I feel pretty confident that we can finish the conference undefeated but at the same time, we have to take it one game at a time,” Yocum said of remaining perfect in the conference. “We can’t let our heads get ahead of us. I think we are playing smart, with a lot more energy and a lot more fire.
“We have been dealt some not so good cards as far as injuries go but when we all come back healthy, that will be good and if we can get everyone healthy for the (district) tournament, then I think we will sitting in good position.”
“Jefferson County is a very good volleyball team but we made them look a lot better as well,” West head coach Daniel Webb said. “We kind of just tossed the ball over a lot tonight and you can’t do that. You have to pass and get hits on your side and make them move. They didn’t have to move very much tonight and because they are such a good team, when you give them the ball, they are going to hit it.”
The Lady Patriots seized control of the opening game early as they built a 13-3 lead on a Blankenship kill. West was the victim of six straight points by the Lady Pats at one point before they finally broke serve. Bella Webb doubled up the score at 20-10 with a service ace and it looked like Jefferson County was ready to ice the game early until the Lady Trojans scored three points in a row to make the score closer but the Lady Patriots prevailed in the end, 25-16.
Another quick start allowed the visitors from Dandridge to get out to a comfortable lead at 12-4 on another Blankenship spike. She had a monster block later on to make the score 22-11 but West kept fighting and responded with back to back service aces by Lila Lewis.
She added another one to give West three points in four attempts but just as was the case in the opening game, the Jefferson County lead was too much to conquer as the Lady Patriots won the second game by the same score as the first, 25-16.
Jefferson County scored the first eight points of game number three and never looked back from there. MaKayla Coffey had an ace to dent the scoring a bit for West but the Lady Patriots continued to cruise along and claimed a 29-13 win in game three to wrap up the match.
West has a short turnaround as they play at Cherokee this evening while the Lady Patriots return to action on Thursday night as they host Cocke County.