Written by Greg Bird
Friday, 19 September 2008
It has been an interesting start to the season for the Lady Raider Volleyball team to say the least.
With construction and gym renovations going on at the high school the team had been forced to play the majority of their games on the road or up the street at McCreary Middle.
Through it all the Lady Raiders have hung tough, winning an impressive nine games in a row during the first two weeks of the season. Following their impressive run the team hit a small road block, dropping seven of their next 12 games, including two to district rivals Russell County and Wayne County on the road.
A strange twist of events on Monday may have given the team the extra spark they needed to make a final push over the final month of the season.
The Lady Raiders were scheduled to play their first game of the year on their home court. The new bleachers were still not completed so fans had to sit in the upper decks. The scoreboard wasn’t working properly so the spectators had difficulty figuring out who was winning… and the team they ended up playing wasn’t even on the schedule!
Coach Robert Jones had scheduled a match against Jellico, but after waiting for more than 30 minutes for the Lady Devils to arrive, Jones managed to contact their coach who informed him they had made a scheduling error and were on their way to Knoxville for another match.
As the Lady Raiders took down the net and changed out of their uniforms, a busload of Russell County Volleyball players pulled up to the front door. The Lady Lakers were scheduled to visit the following Monday, but the Russell County coach made a mistake on her calendar and showed up a week early.
So up went the nets, the fans came back and the game was on.
Less than two weeks ago the Lady Lakers defeated McCreary 2-1 in Russell County, but on Monday night the Lady Raiders got their revenge.
McCreary took control early in the first game of the match, taking an 11-3 lead, but the Lady Lakers fought back, getting to within two points before their rally fell short. The Lady Raiders won the first game 25-22.
Starting the second game of the match both teams traded side-outs for the first several points until Russell County started to break away. The Lady Lakers amassed a 20-15 lead, but strong serving and excellent defense allowed McCreary to come back. Amy Jones served five consecutive points to close the game, giving the Lady Raiders a 25-22 win and taking the match 2-0.
The Lady Raiders followed up the big district win with another strong performance Tuesday night against the Monticello Lady Trojans. McCreary swept the match 2-0 with 25-5 and 25-6 wins to pull their record to 15-9 and 2-3 in the district.
The Lady Raiders face a tough challenge this weekend when they travel to Rockcastle County to play in a tournament where they will face teams such as Whitley County, North Laurel, Lincoln County and Rockcastle County.
Next Tuesday night the Lady Raiders have a chance to even their district record when they host the Wayne County Lady Cardinals at 7:30 p.m. in the MCHS Gym.