Clinton hosted Harrells Christian Academy on Monday afternoon to open the 2016 volleyball regular season for both teams. The Lady Dark Horses suffered the loss of several keys players to graduation last spring and are faced with the task of rebuilding with hopes of returning to the playoffs. The Lady Crusaders return a strong nucleus of experienced players and used that experience to quickly dispatch the Lady Dark Horses in a 3-0 straight sets win.
The Lady Crusaders took advantage of early leads in each set, and the outcome was never in doubt as Harrells played strong at the net and limited mistakes to make it a long afternoon for the home team. The closest the Lady Horses could come to making a run at the visitors was when they cut the Harrells lead to 10-9 in the third set, but Harrells would capitalize on a 5-point run to regain the momentum. The Lady Crusaders posted impressive wins in each set dropping the Lady Dark Horses by scores of 21-25, 18-25 and 16-25 to post their first win of the season.
After the game, Harrells head coach Wendy Crumpler commented on the season opening win, saying “I thought we played well, we emphasized playing together as a team. We really focused on not letting any ball hit the floor. We did a good job limiting our mistakes and communicating, we served the ball well and played solid defense. I was proud of our effort today and glad to get the win.”
The Lady Crusaders were led by Sierra Votaw’s eight kills and seven blocks, Hope Cottle and Sydney Norris each added seven kills. Brenna King added six kills, five blocks, and four aces and Harley Crumpler did a nice job setting the table for her teammates with 19 assists.
Clinton head coach Jennifer Edgerton, while not pleased to open the season with a loss, found several positives in her young team’s opening day performance. “With all the girls we lost last year to graduation these ladies have stepped up and worked hard in the preseason. Harrells is a good team and play a fast paced game. We kept pace with them and did some good things today. I am not disappointed with the way we played, we made some mistakes but they are things we can correct with some work”, said Edgerton.
Corey Spell led Clinton with five kills, seven digs, and two blocks. Taylor Spell added two kills, 15 digs and five blocks, and Jasmine Ford was a force at the net with 12 blocks.
Clinton travels to Lakewood on Wednesday in search of their first win of the year while Harrells returns to action on Thursday when they travel to Cary Christian.
Melony Henderson can be reached at [email protected] or 910-376-2127.