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Brighton’s senior leadership paves way against Munford

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
mls-09-15-volleyball-brighton-3c mls-09-15-volleyball-deasha-banks-4c mls-09-15-volleyball-makayla-rose-2c mls-09-15-volleyball-sidney-2cBrighton Head Volleyball Coach Nicole Hensley felt there was one key coming into Thursday night’s showdown against league and Tipton County rival the Munford Lady Cougars.
Hensley knew the winner at the net would most likely live the Brighton Gymnasium victorious. The Lady Cardinals used blocks and spikes to win 25-19, 25-11, 21-25 and 25-17.
“I’m just really proud of the girls and how well they played,” Hensley said. “It is a lot more pressure when you’re facing a big rival like Munford. The girls played together well and they played smart. I’m super proud of them.
“They were really strong on key plays in the net,” she added. “The blocks that they made and the kills too, they were able to make Munford move. They were playing very much together. And that’s something we’ve worked on — cohesiveness. Especially those plays in the net against a team like that.”
The Lady Cougars featured an athletic roster of players like Ally Browning, Makayla Pugh, Ciera Atkinson, Kelsey Frizzell and De’Asha Banks.
The Lady Cardinals wanted to establish control at the net and keep the Munford players out of formation. In the opening set Brighton jumped out to a 17-9 lead behind the serving of senior Makayla Rose.
Victory was looking like a sure thing for the Lady Cardinals when Munford rallied to to make the score 23-19. Brighton held on to jump ahead 1-0 in sets.
Brighton used the front line play of Lauron Chaney and Sidney Cottingham to jump ahead 12-3. When Chaney blocked a Munford kill attempt the Brighton advantage grew to 9 points.
Then the Lady Cardinals outscored Munford 13-8 down the stretch to win 25-11 and take a 2-0 lead in sets.
The Lady Cougars settled down and regrouped in the third set to jump ahead 15-10. Brighton tried to cut into the Munford advantage when Atkinson scored on a spike to make the score 20-14.
Rose sparked a 7-0 run to give Brighton a 21-20 lead with her serving. Munford tied the set when Hannah Burkhart scored on a kill.
To close out the third set Munford outscored Brighton 4-0 down the stretch including a Pugh score to win 25-21.
Now with Brighton ahead 2-1 in sets, the Lady Cardinals avoided a fifth and decisive set by breaking a 13-13 tie behind the solid play of Cottingham and Rose.
“When Sidney is playing well, it seems everybody feeds off of her,” Hensley said. “And Makayla Rose, she had a great run of serves tonight which scored us some points and put us ahead. Both of them are seniors this year.
“I think their leadership on the court is obvious to anybody who is watching,” she added. “When their mind is in the game and they’re doing what they are supposed to be doing, they bring everybody up to that level of play you saw tonight.”
Rose’s spike late in the fourth set made the score 21-15. When the tally was 23-17, Lady Cardinals Lindsey Morrisette served up an ace to gain control for Brighton. Molly Rhinehardt ended the match for the Lady Cardinals with a spike.

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