By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels might be on the brink of a special, special season.
Head Coach Wendy Porter’s group of Lady Rebels have established themselves as a legit contender in Division II-A volleyball compiling a solid record. Looking forward to October, the Lady Rebels had to finish off September with one more task on their agenda.
TRA welcomed league rival the Rossville Lady Wolves to the TRA Gymnasium for Senior Night honoring seniors Rachel Woelm and Joze Smith. The Lady Rebels took care of business and won the game 25-15, 25-13, 23-25 and 25-20 to give the duo a special night.
Although the Lady Rebels would have enjoyed a sweep of the Lady Wolves, but Porter was working on new schemes as the postseason approaches.
“It was just that Coach put us in formations that we haven’t played before,” Woelm noted. “It was us just trying to get used to it.”
Despite needing a fourth set to pull off the win, Smith said the victory was still sweet.
“It feels perfectly planned,” she said. “All these four years finally paid off. We’ve had a pretty good season and Rachel and me have been pleased with our outcomes. We’re continuing to keep pushing.”
In the opening set it was the Lady Rebels pushing the Lady Wolves around the court. Woelm got TRA rolling with her serves. The Lady Rebels were ahead 7-0 after a pair of Woelm aces.
TRA went on to win the first set 25-15 behind the powerful spikes of Sam Hopper, Kallie Alexander, Maggie Stephens and Haley Ramsey. But it was a Ramsey soft tip that concluded the first set.
The Lady Rebels seized control of the second set once again with Woelm serving TRA to an early lead. Later in the frame, Alexander made the score 20-11 with an ace. After Hopper slapped a kill to make the score 21-11, TRA prevailed 25-13.
Needing one more set to win the overall game, TRA fell behind 4-0 in the third set. The Lady Rebels rallied to tie the game at 4-4. It was the first of 6 deadlocks in the set.
The Lady Rebels did manage to build a 17-10 advantage. Rossville responded with a 9-1 run to take the lead at 19-18.
Down the stretch the Lady Wolves outscored TRA 6-5 to force a fourth set. That set started tight with the score 7-6 in favor of the Lady Rebels.
TRA proceded with a 7-1 run to jump ahead 14-7. Rossville rallied in the frame with a 13-6 outburst. The 20-20 deadlock was broken by a Ramsey spike. When Stephens scored on a hit, TRA won the set 25-20 and the seniors had a proper Senior Night sendoff.
Now the Lady Rebels are focusing on closing out the regular season strong and getting ready for a run at State.
“Anything is possible,” Smith said. “If we play to the best of our potential we can achieve some great things.”
Woelm said the philosophy is simple if the Lady Rebels are to make the 2016 season extra special by reaching State.
“I want to see bodies hitting the ground, working hard, sweat and even tears,” she concluded. “Because if we win that will be awesome.”