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County rivals play four competitive sets with Munford earning victory

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Volleyball at net Volleyball Bell hit over Johnson Volleyball Lily Turner hit

The question around the Brighton Gymnasium last Thursday night was, ‘Which team is better?’
Coming into the first match up between Tipton County and District 13-3A rivals the Munford Lady Cougars and Brighton Lady Cardinals, fans and even some administrators from both schools were talking about how evenly match the teams were.
And the final score proved both teams are on the same high level of volleyball. The Lady Cougars fought for a 25-23, 26-24, 23-25 and 25-23 victory over Brighton.
“We had to come out and fight all night,” Munford senior Cecily Gable said.
All night long the 12 players on the court were battling to see who would come out on top. Brighton jumped ahead 8-4 in the first set behind solid play from Shayna Johnson and Sydney Cottingham. The Lady Cougars started to chip away at the deficit making the score 11-9.
The Lady Cardinals maintained the advantage leading 14-9 and 16-12. Munford rallied to tie the first set 22-22 outscoring Brighton 10-6. Lily Turner deadlock the game with a kill for the Lady Cougars. Then the Munford senior scored on a tip leading the Lady Cougars to a first set victory.
In the second set both teams had a narrow lead. The score was tied at 8-8, 11-11, 17-17, 18-18 and 19-19.
Taylor Hobson gave Munford a 20-19 lead with an ace. Brighton deadlock the game once again. The Lady Cardinals regained the lead at 21-20.
Munford tied the set this team at 21-21. Cottingham gave Brighton back the lead with a kill at 22-21. The Lady Cardinals were ahead 23-21 when Johnson slapped down a kill.
Gable sparked her teammates with a kill and cut the deficit in half. The score was tied at 23-23 and 24-24 when Abigail Bell scored on a spike for Munford.
The Lady Cougars were able to finish off the set 26-24 and go ahead 2-0 in sets.
The Lady Cardinals refused to go away quietly hold the lead most of the third set. Brighton was ahead 21-17 late in the set. Gable and Turner tried to help Munford keep pace with the Lady Cardinals but Johnson, Makayla Rose and Lilly Hill guided Brighton to a 25-23 win.
“We were more anger with ourselves,” Gable acknowledged. “So we came out with more motivation to win the fourth set.”
Munford jumped out to a quick lead in the fourth set. But Brighton rallied back to take a 15-13 lead.
The Lady Cardinals were still ahead 18-17 when Hobson gave Munford the boost it needed to pull out the overall victory.
Hobson scored on two hits to give the Lady Cougars a 20-18. Munford kept pace with Brighton down the stretch to prevail 25-23.
“It feels good and it’s always nice to get a win over your biggest rivals,” Gable said. “We hope to be much better the next time we see them. We know they’ll be better too.
“I think we’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the season already,” she concluded. “We are more prepared and we are mentally tougher.”

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