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Early season brings peaks and valleys for Lady Rebels

By Thomas Sellers Jr.TRA Volleyball Haley Ramsey TRA Volleyball Madison Cranford volley

Lady Rebel senior Madison Cranford goes for a spike over a par of Lady Saints during last week's game at TRA.

Lady Rebel senior Madison Cranford goes for a spike over a par of Lady Saints during last week’s game at TRA.

TRA Volleyball Wendy Porter sideline

A microcosm of the 2014 season for the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels was on display last week in the TRA Gymnasium.
On Sept. 9, the Lady Rebels welcomed the Briarcrest Lady Saints to town. Before the visit from Briarcrest, TRA has endured a season ups and downs like a thrilling five-set contest against Harding Academy.
The Lady Rebels almost pulled off the upset against Harding Academy before being edged out in the fifth and decisive set.
TRA looked to bounce back against the Lady Saints playing well at time. But Briarcrest used its size at the net and aggressive attacks to prevail 25-11, 19-25, 25-6 and 25-17.
“It’s been going a little rough,” TRA Head Coach Wendy Porter acknowledged of the season. “They’ve been working hard and pushing it.
“We’re real young and real small at the net,” she added. “It’s effecting us netwise. Those quicks we can’t get to. We’re not getting our hands on some of those harder hits. It’s killing our defense.”
In the first set the size of Briarcrest dominated most of the action. Lady Saints Callie Anderton, Carsyn Starr, Kendal Strand and Alyiah Wells scored on tips and spikes at the net helping Briarcrest win the opening set 25-11.
A different TRA team appeared to take the court in the second set. The Lady Rebels behind the all-around play of Bethany Berger and net-play of Jordyn Thornell sparked TRA to a 21-10 advantage.
Berger scored on a tip to make the tally 20-10. Then Thornell served up an ace to give TRA an 11-point advantage.
Briarcrest rallied to make the score 24-19 before TRA was able to close out the second set 25-19. The overall match was one set apiece.
“When we get on a roll, we’re consistent on our serves and we’re intense about our coverage, we’re there,” Porter said. “We can be a scrappy team. We can get hardest of hits when we want to.”
It appeared the Lady Saints had more want-to in the third set winning 25-6. The play of Wells and Strand with tips and kills led to the 19-point win.
Ahead 2-1 in sets, the Lady Saints looked to close out the game. But TRA jumped ahead 9-6 before the set got closer.
The fourth set had four ties with the final deadlock at 13-13. Lady Saints Makenzie Goodwin and Zindi Perkins were key contributors in Briarcrest’s 9-1 run to seize control of the game. Perkins served up aces and Goodwin slapped a kill to make the score 17-13.
Then the tandem of Strands and Wells slammed down three spikes to make the score 22-14. The Lady Saints took the fourth set 25-17 to leave Rosemark with a win.
Porter said her team is making strides to October and she will preach a couple of mental points before the postseason arrives.
“It’s about keeping that consistency and intensity there,” she concluded. “We don’t always do that throughout.”

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September 2014
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