Categorized | Sports

Lady Cougars take control early in Brighton

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Volleyball Brighton collision Volleyball Ciera Atkinson Volleyball Kelsey FrizzellBoth the Brighton Lady Cardinals and Munford Lady Cougars entered unfamiliar territory this volleyball season.
The squads moved from the four-team old District 13-3A into the new six-team league featuring teams like Cordova and Arlington. But on Aug. 29, the old Tipton County foes renewed their rivalry in the Brighton Gymnasium.
And it was the Munford Lady Cougars improving to 2-1 in district beating the Lady Cardinals 25-11, 25-8 and 25- 18.
“We’ve got a very athletic and talented team this year,” Munford Head Coach Angie Gover said. “I’ve got three seniors, five juniors. They work so well together like a team. This is by far the best team I’ve had so far.
The three seniors leading the Munford attack in 2017 are Ally Browning, Kelsey Frizzell and Sara Shepherd. It was the setting of Browning that allowed the Lady Cougars to stay head of Brighton the opening set.
The Lady Cardinals kept pace early behind solid plays from players like TeAnna Johnson and Mackenzie Winnans. Winnans slammed down a kill that made the score 12-8 in favor of Munford. Then Johnson used a bump to make the tally 12-9.
The Munford advantage was trimmed to 12-10 when Lady Cougar Hannah Burkhart seized control of the set with her serving.
Burkhart served out the rest of the match including four aces to help Munford prevail 25-11.
“Serving, oh my gosh, we had a lot of aces tonight,” Gover noted. “Our serves are usually pretty strong. We’ve notice in our stats, if we stay above 90 percent serving, we’re winning. If we can keep that up, we should be able to win ball games.”
The serving continued to be the key toward victory for the Lady Cougars in the second set. Brighton was never able get a rhythm with Lady Cougars like Ciera Atkinson, Ali Gover and Burkhart attacking above the night. Atkinson greatest contribution in the set was from behind the service line.
With the score 14-6, Atkinson mixed in aces and serves that kept the Lady Cardinals moving backwards. The score was 23-6 when Atkinson tallied her final ace in the set.
The Lady Cougars were ahead 2-0 in sets entering the third frame.
The Lady Cardinals displayed fight in the third set holding a 12-11 lead. Browning gave Brighton a hill to climb serving up a 4-0 lead for Lady Cougars.
Johnson led the Lady Cardinals back with a spike helping to tie the set at 4-4. Munford went ahead with highlights like a Browning overhead tip that made the score 7-5.
Brighton’s comeback featured big plays from Demiyah Gatlin scoring on a block and Charley Morgan Halford tying the match at 11-11 with an ace.
Burkhart tied the third set at 12-12 when she smacked down an ace. Then Browning served the Lady Cougars ahead 16-13.
Munford built a 21-14 lead courtesy of spikes from Jordan Moore and Atkinson. Brighton wasn’t about to give up clawing back to 23-17. The point of the night came with the 23-16. Both teams kept the point alive for nearly a minute.
The game finally concluded with another Atkinson kill and Lady Cougar point. Coach Gover said that athleticism paid off in the three-set victory.
“It was very important,” she said. “That’s the beauty of this team. They are so athletic and working together. They do a variety. Ally Browning my setter is doing such a great job setting outside middle, right and back row. We’re kind of doing a little bit of everything and putting in a few trick plays here and there. So, we’ll see.”

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