The Lady Raiders Volleyball Team rebounded from their season-opening loss in a big way by defeating the Somerset Lady Briar Jumpers 2-0 (25-12, 25-10) Tuesday night at the Briar Patch.
The Lady Raiders set a team record with 21 aces in the match as they blew past Somerset, evening their record at 1-1.
McCreary dominated the game from their first serve, converting 35 of their 48 serve attempts into points, including the 21 serves that Somerset wasn’t able to handle on the first hit.
“I’m very pleased with how we played,” Coach Robert Jones said. “That was the best we have ever served. We have worked hard on that over the summer and it is good to see it start to pay off. Obviously, you can’t score if you can’t get the ball over the net.”
Chelsei Chitwood set the tone early, leading the Lady Raiders out to a 6-0 lead in the first game with three aces. From there McCreary cruised to the 25-12 win, bookended with a Holly Stephens’ ace to close it out.
Chitwood continued her hot serving with three more aces to lead off the second game, bringing her total for the match to nine, and giving McCreary a 4-0 lead. Somerset stayed close in the early going, but Amy Jones rolled off six consecutive points, with a pair of aces of her own, to propel the Lady Raiders to a 16-8 lead. McCreary outscored Somerset 9-2 from that point to complete the sweep, 25-10.
McCreary showed a marked improvement over their season-opening loss to Clinton County last week, but still have room to get even better, recording only 11 kills on 29 attack attempts at the net.
“We still need to be more effective at the net,” Jones said. “We are getting good swings at the ball, but we are just not putting it on the ground like we need to.”
The Lady Raiders will have a busy weekend, traveling to Lynn Camp (0-3) tonight before returning home to host the 12-team McCreary Invitational Tournament Friday and Saturday.
With the McCreary Central gym floor still closed due to renovations, the games will be played at Pine Knot Intermediate School and McCreary Middle School.
Pool A, consisting of McCreary Central, Monticello, Somerset, Jackson County, Adair County and Jellico will play at the middle school starting at 4:15 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. Pool B, consisting of North Laurel, Lincoln County, Carroll County, Garrard County, Clinton County and Lynn Camp will play at PKI starting at 5:45 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. The championship bracket games will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.