CEDAR BLUFF – For the past couple of weeks, Cedar Bluff volleyball coach Lyndsey Barker Mullins has been talking to her team about setting the tempo.
On Tuesday evening against area rival Gaylesville, things started out well enough for the Lady Tigers. They won the first two sets 25-7 and 25-13, but things got a little more interesting in the third set.
After Cedar Bluff had built a 19-6 advantage, Mullins subbed in several players and Gaylesville went on a 14-1 run to tie the set at 20. The Lady Tigers closed things out with a 5-2 run to take the match.
In the tri-match nightcap with Mae Jemison, Cedar Bluff cruised to a 25-10, 25-13 victory to improve to 19-11 on the season.
“We’ve struggled a bit with focus and playing with intensity,” Mullins said. “We played at Fort Payne this past weekend and it was a struggle. We didn’t score over 15 points the entire day, and I told them coming back something’s got to change. We changed our lineup, hoping that may help a little bit and it has. I told them in the locker room we just have to keep building on that first set. That’s where our tempo has got to be and our focus has got to be. When we play like that, it’s pretty good.”
Jordyn Walker and Maggie Clowdis led the Lady Tigers against Gaylesville. Walker posted seven digs, six aces and two kills. Clowdis collected seven kills, five aces, three digs and an assist.
Mattie Payne posted nine aces and a dig. Rylie Walker added 12 assists, five aces and a kill. Haley Allen had seven assists. Graceland Benton accumulated seven kills and four digs. Kindal Grace contributed five kills, a dig and an ace. Lacie Roer came away with three kills and an assist. Natalie Baty finished with three digs, a kill and an ace.
Against Mae Jemison, Jordyn Walker posted 6 aces and a kill. Clowdis came away with two kills and an ace. Ciana Smith delivered five aces, a kill and an assist. Payne contributed four aces and a kill. Rylie Walker had six assists and a kill. Allen accounted for five assists. Grace collected two kills and an ace. Lacie Smith had three aces. Anslee Evans added a pair of kills. Blakelea Hall had a kill and an ace. Emma Haney and Benton both finished with a kill apiece.
“I have my eighth graders dressed and they all got to play,” Mullins said. “Getting to see them on the floor, although it wasn’t a super-fast tempo, they were able to play in their first varsity match. It’s always a good night when you can get your younger ones in the game.”
Andreah Calvert led the Lady Trojans against Cedar Bluff with three digs and an ace. Peyton Bright managed two digs and an assist. Aubrie Peek posted two kills and a dig. Sydney Smith had a dig and a block. Delaney Coker finished with a dig.
Gaylesville (7-6) rebounded from its area loss to Cedar Bluff with a 25-12, 25-14 win over Mae Jemison. In that match, Bright, Givens and Smith each had three aces. Bright also had a kill and an assist, and Smith had a kill and a block.
Calvert and Jayden Dobbins both had a pair of aces. Coker came away with a kill, an ace and an assist. Peek finished with an ace.
Gaylesville hosts Valley Head on Thursday while Cedar Bluff visits Etowah.