By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Over the past few months, Millington Lady Trojans Head Coach Jenna Harper has been educating herself on Class 2A Volleyball in Tennessee.
Harper’s Lady Trojans are currently competing in their first season in the classification in several years. And Harper’s research yielded the information that one of the best teams in Class 2A is Crockett County.
The Lady Trojans would find out in person Aug. 31 if the Lady Cavaliers are as good as advertised. Crockett County came into the William Osteen Gymnasium and survived the Millington challenge 25-18, 25-18 and 25-17.
“We didn’t play well,” Harper said. “We rolled over and just let them beat us. We didn’t play together as a team. We were coming off a real high last Thursday.”
On Aug. 27 the Lady Trojans took on the Covington Lady Chargers losing a five-set thriller. The Lady Trojans were ahead in the fifth set before dropping it 15-13.
“We played really well against Covington,” Harper continued. “We came up short but we played together as a team. We hustled and we were intense. We came out here today and made error after error.”
Harper said Crockett County is a good team but her team gave an underwhelming performance, especially in the decisive set. Millington had 20 errors in the third set.
“They earned 5 of their points,” Harper noted. “We would have beaten them. I’m confident that my team would have beaten them if we would have played like we did Thursday.”
Millington started well leading 17-14 in the first set. Addison Coulter served up three aces in row to build the Lady Trojan advantage.
Crockett County displayed its collectiveness by regrouping with a 6-0 run to regain the lead 20-17. Then Lady Cavalier Kelsey Robertson closed out the opening set with a tip and kill to give Crockett County the 25-18 win.
In the second set the Lady Cavaliers jumped out to a 11-6 lead. This time Millington had the run outscoring Crockett County 7-0.
Lady Trojans like Coulter, Ashley Freeze and Camilla Irizarry scored during the rally. Irizarry’s two aces gave Millington the 13-11 lead.
Crockett County had an answer again behind the play of Madelynn Crutchfield, Cayley Williams and Brooke Burress. The Lady Cavaliers were ahead 21-14 in the matter of minutes.
Burress put the game on ice when she scored on a jump-serve ace to make the set 23-15. Crockett County closed out the second set 25-18 and was one set away from the overall victory.
The third set was close in the opening moments with Lady Trojan Ally Hall sparking her team verbally and with her play. Hall served up an ace that made the score 8-5 in favor of Millington.
Crockett County rallied to tie the game at 9-9. The Lady Cavaliers were ahead 11-9 when Millington’s Paige Hall scored on a kill to make the score 11-10.
The Lady Cavaliers proceeded to outscore Millington 10-5 to take a 21-15. Crockett County closed out the set and match outscoring the Lady Trojans 4-2 down the stretch.
Harper said her girls once again displayed their talent and potential against a good team. But they have to get over the mental hump to become champions.
“They need to learn that they have to change their mindset to be winners,” she concluded. “We can’t accept mediocrity. We don’t know how to fix our mistakes when they happen. We have learn how to be winners and accept that mentality.”
Millington started winning later in the week beating Haywood and JCM in three-set sweeps on the road.