By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Lady Trojans are preparing to take on a new league in 2015.
So to get ready, Millington Head Coach Jenna Harper invited old, area foe the Brighton Lady Cardinals to town for the season opener for the volleyball season.
On Aug. 17, the Lady Cardinals outlasted the Lady Trojans on the court of the William Osteen Gymnasium 25-19, 25-18 and 25-20.
Brighton Head Coach Cheryl Jacobs was pleased with her team getting out the gate 1-0 over a competitive Millington team.
“I’m seeing a lot of them playing well together,” Jacobs noted of her team. “They are stepping up to the plate and making changes right away on the court. When we’re needing some serves back there, they’re concentrating on them and getting them through.
“They’re sharing the ball with everybody, not just focusing on one person,” she added. “We’re looking for everybody. The most impressive thing, they’re starting to be able to read the defense. We’re putting the ball where we need to, through the holes of the defense to take advantage of those situations.”
Brighton was finding all the available areas for points early on in the opening set jumping out 6-0. With scores from Ally Mize and Emma Wade, the Lady Cardinals were ahead 10-3. Moments later the Lady Cardinals were ahead 13-4 when Mize served up an ace.
Trailing 16-5 in the first set, Millington rallied behind points from Ashley Freeze, Addison Coulter and Ally Hall to make the score 19-14 in favor of Brighton.
The Lady Cardinals settled down to close out the first set 25-19. The second set started off close with the squads trading points and Brighton ahead 4-3.
Lady Cardinal Shayna Johnson gave her team a 9-4 advantage with a block at the net. Her teammate Sydney Cottingham made the score 11-5 with a kill.
Behind 19-10, the Lady Trojans heated up once again to cut into the Brighton advantage. Just like the opening set, the Lady Cardinals held on to win — this time 25-18.
The third set was close throughout with Brighton nursing a 17-16 lead late. Millington rallied to take the lead and a Freeze ace made the score 19-17.
“We got a little relax and a little tired,” Jacobs said. “It’s hot in the gym. They didn’t get much water going back to back. So we had to reach back and pull from within to pull this one out.”
The Lady Cardinals went on a 6-0 run to seize control of the set. Johnson and Cottingham scored on back-to-back kills to make the score 23-19. Brighton closed out he contest winning the third set 25-20.