Lady Cougars shake off start to beat Karns

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By Robby O'Daniel

Just like they were shaking off a rough three-game losing streak, the Lady Cougars shook off a tough first set to win in volleyball at Karns last Thursday night.

“I thought it kinda started slow, and we did lose the first set, but we worked hard and our attitudes were great,” Lady Cougar senior Lexy Richardson said. “And we were so pumped, and we came out with a win.”

The Lady Cougars won in four sets: 17-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25-15, thanks in part to two separate double-digit runs for the Lady Cougars in the match.

“It’s nice to see us get in those runs, not that I want to see another team get frustrated, but we’ve just been that team in the past so much that it’s nice to see it’s not us anymore,” CCHS head coach Renee Wormsley said. “And I kinda sometimes feel a little bad when I’m like, ‘Don’t let up. Keep going. Keep doing your all’s jobs,’ because we’ve just been beat on so bad in the past.”

Campbell County improved to 5-3 on the season with the win after losses to Oak Ridge, Bearden and West in the previous three matches.

“In the first set, we just weren’t talking much, and our attitudes were kinda down, I guess, from where we’ve lost a couple of games,” Richardson said. “And then the second, third and fourth set, we just came out, and our attitudes completely changed.”

The Lady Cougars fought in set one. Karns had a dominant 8-1 lead to begin the match, but the Lady Cougars roared back to tie the set at 9-9.

Anna Cain was a big part of that comeback with several kills, including a block that netted a point for Campbell County.

Karns would stabilize the set, leading 14-9 and 16-10 on the way to a 25-17 set one win.

“The girls had some mistakes and stuff, but overall, if we can pass the ball this year to our setter, we can hit and score almost every time,” Renee Wormsley said. “That’s our biggest thing right now. As long as we, in serve receive, we can get our passes to our setter, she can set a hitter, and we score. And that’s kinda been the thing right now for us is just getting our passes where they need to be. And if we can do that, we should have no problem, I feel like, this season.”

Set two began as a back-and-forth contest. A Richardson kill got the set started, and Campbell County led 4-1 and 6-2. But Karns hung around, cutting it to 6-4.

Cain’s ace made it 10-5 CC, but Karns cut it to 10-7.

After a Cain kill made it 17-12 Lady Cougars, Karns cut it to 17-14.

But from there, the Lady Cougars took off, ending the set with an 8-0 run, including a Richardson kill and a Morgan Stanley ace, to take set two in dominant fashion. Richardson had at least five kills in the set.

The Lady Cougars ended up scoring 13 straight points, including 8 points to end set two and 5 points to begin set three with a 5-0 lead. A highlight was junior Jacolby Lane running into the scorer’s table at Karns High School for a save.

“I’ve kinda been on my juniors a little bit,” Renee Wormsley said. “I told them that in the next little bit, I was going to probably turn it up on them as far as holding them more accountable, that their jobs are very crucial and important. I want to prepare them for next season and for where their roles will be coming up for us in the future.”

Senior setter Destiny Wormsley ran full force toward the net, stopping just shy of touching the net to set one, while Macy Monday had a strong block, but Karns finally scored a point to make it 5-1 in the set.

Cain’s body smacked the floor for a dig, cueing up Madison Wise for a kill that made it 7-2 Lady Cougars. Senior Lauren Graves would provide an ace to make it 14-5, and a Cain kill made it 15-6. Stanley had an ace, and Cain had a kill down the stretch, as Campbell County took a 2-1 set advantage in the contest.

With the score 4-3 in set four, Cain provided two kills to give her team a 6-3 lead. But Karns would lead 10-8 and 12-10 later in the set.

Then incredibly, the Lady Cougars came up with another double-digit points run, this time 10 points, to take a 20-12 lead in the set, thanks in part to two Cain kills.

Stanley hit the floor for a dig on the match point, and the Lady Cougars won.

Richardson said it was difficult to rebound from the three-game losing streak to win at Karns.

“It was pretty tough because we did lose those three games, and they were really good teams,” Richardson said. “But we beat Karns before, so just coming back in here, we had the attitudes of we could lose, but we weren’t going to.”

Weekend in Sevierville

Campbell County played in the Rocky Top Classic in Sevierville on Friday and Saturday. All told, the Lady Cougars went 2-4 on the weekend, defeating Oakland and Sycamore and losing to Dobyns-Bennett, Livingston Academy, Science Hill and Hoover High in Alabama.

Both wins over Oakland and Sycamore were the Lady Cougars winning two sets out of three. The Lady Cougars lost two sets out of three to Livingston Academy and fell in two straight sets to Hoover, Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill.

According to CoachT.com, Dobyns-Bennett was 21-1 on the season following Saturday, with its only loss to Station Camp in Sevierville last Saturday.

Following the tournament, Campbell County was now 7-7 in varsity games played this year.