Jellico High School’s first appearance in sub-state volleyball was a bit of a disappointment for the Lady Blue Devils.
Host North Greene defeated Jellico in three games — 25-13, 25-12 and 25-22 — to advance to the state tournament this week at Murfreesboro.
However, the Lady Blue Devils expect to be back next year with one of their two all-region players returning for her senior season.
“I just wanted to win one (sub-state game) at least,” said Jellico coach Barbara Carter.
“I was proud of the way we played in the last game, because I thought we might lay down and give up after the way we lost the first two.”
Down 7-2 in the opening game, the Lady Blue Devils fought back to get within 9-6 when all-region middle hitter Ashley Gulley entered the lineup.
The Lady Huskies continued to hammer away at Jellico and took the first game, 25-13.
Jellico had a 5-1 lead in the second game, but couldn’t hang on. North Greene quickly tied the game and then pulled in front, 22-9. The Lady Blue Devils scored three consecutive points, but North Greene got the last three to win, 25-12, and take a two-game lead in the best 3 of 5 series.
The Lady Huskies ran out to a 12-3 lead in the third game when Jellico finally began to answer the bell. The Lady Blue Devils rallied to tie the game at 17, 18 and 19-all before North Greene scored five straight points to pull ahead, 24-19.
Jellico scored three more times, but North Greene wrapped up the match with a 25-22 decision.
“(The Lady Huskies) were better than I thought they would be, and they hit the ball right at the holes where we didn’t have anybody,” said Carter.
“I don’t know what we did wrong. I don’t know if they were better than us or if we didn’t play well.”
Jellico finished the season at 16-7 overall, the best record in school history.