The Cougar volleyball team hosted Hancock County last Tuesday in their annual Volley for the Cure fund-raiser, and made it a successful night by sweeping all three matches.
The freshman girls started things off with a straight-set win, 21-11, 21-17. The JV followed, winning in split sets, 21-10, 14-21,. 15-10. Finally, the varsity closed out the evening with a straight set victory over the visitors, 25-18, 25-18.
The Cougars got off to a great start. Leading 2-1, senior Rebecca Higdon served eight straight points to give them a 10-1 lead. Meredith Pawley, Katelynn Bratcher and Bailey Martin all had kills during the run and Higdon served one ace.
The Hornets closed to within six points three times, the last time coming at 16-10, but five straight Cougar points, including three Pawley kills, increased the lead to 11 points, 21-10.
The Hornets avoided one set-point at 24-17 when a Cougar hitting error gave them the ball, but Emma Wilder put away a kill on the next volley to give the first set to the Cougars, 25-18.
The visitors moved out to an early 4-1 lead, but the Cougars began battling back. Three straight points, including kills by Wilder and Boaz put the Cougars in front 9-7 and they would never trail again.
Leading 23-18, a Wilder kill moved it to match-point before a Hornet error gave the Cougars the match, 25-18.
This was a game of extremes, with the Cougars easily winning the first set, and the Hornets returning the favor in the second set. Grayson County then held off the Hornets in a 15-point final set to win the match.
The Cougars never trailed in the first set after scoring the first four points. Eight straight Cougar points, including three Mallory Thomas kills gave Grayson County a commanding 18-4 lead.
Another Thomas kill gave Grayson County a set-point at 20-6, but a serving error gave the Hornets the ball back. Three straight Hornet points, including two Katie Cox aces took it to 20-10, but when the Hornets could not return the next volley, Grayson County had the first-set win.
The Cougars grabbed an early 8-4 lead in the second set, but the Hornets’ Ricki Wilson scored a kill to give the Hornets the serve. Hancock then reeled off seven straight points to take a 12-8 lead and they would never trail again. Wilson had a pair of aces in the run.
Grayson County was trailing by three, 13-10, when the Hornets scored six straight to take it to 19-10. A Wilder kill stopped the Hornet run and the Cougars responded by scoring the next three points to pull to within five at 19-14.
A Cougar service error gave the Hornets a set-point at 20-14 before Ally Delaney ended it with a kill to tie the match at a set apiece.
In the final set, a 15-point affair, the Hornets grabbed an early 4-1 advantage before a foot-fault service error gave the ball to the Cougars. Avery Sedam took the serve and the Cougars scored the next six points to take an 8-4 lead.
The Hornets made it close again by pulling to within a point of the lead at 9-8, but the Cougars were able to hold them off. A Wilder kill moved the game to match-point at 14-11, and when the Hornets sent a ball wide on the next volley, Grayson County had the win.
The freshman Hornets had just six players and played the entire match without substituting.
Grayson County took command early in the first set. Leading by three, 5-2, the Cougars reeled off eight straight points to take a 13-2 lead. Olivia Lucas had a kill and Katie Mullins served an ace during the run.
Four straight Cougar points gave them a set-point at 20-10, but Hancock’s Danielle Bumm won a duel at the net to keep Hancock alive at 20-11. But the set ended on the next volley as Laura Higdon put away a kill.
The Cougars led early in the second set at 7-2, but Hancock rallied to tie things at 10-10. The Hornets were then guilty of a hitting error and would get no closer. Six straight Cougar points followed, including a Higdon kill and an ace by Lucas, and Grayson County led by seven at 17-10.
Grayson County moved to match-point at 20-17 when Judith Darst closed things out by serving an ace.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext.2016.