CEDAR BLUFF – Delivering in the crucial situations is something the Cedar Bluff Lady Tigers have struggled with this volleyball season. That trend continued for the Lady Tigers in the nightcap of their tri-match against Piedmont on Tuesday.
Piedmont took the first set 25-18, but then Cedar Bluff caught fire. The Lady Tigers rallied for a 25-10 decision in the second to force a third and decisive set.
But the spark the Lady Tigers found in the second flamed out early in the third. The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 advantage and held on for a 15-10 win.
Piedmont also defeated Gaylesville on the night 25-15, 25-17 to improve to 7-5 on the season.
“In game three (against Cedar Bluff), I wanted to see a little more fight in us. We came out and proved we wanted to play,” Piedmont coach Magan Glover said.
“In a game to 15, you’ve got to jump out early. The game goes by so fast, so we were able to do that right out of the gate. We had serve and were able to maintain it. That got us up. I think that makes all the difference.”
Cedar Bluff coach Lyndsey Barker Mullins agreed with Glover that serving was a big difference.
“We went from the second set not missing any serves to a third set getting down 6-0, and then on top of that missed three serves. That’s something we can’t do,” Mullins said. “Our big-time players didn’t step up in the third set like they needed to. That was obvious. Those big-time players we normally have are going to have to learn to step up in pressure situations. With teams we’ve gone three (sets), I don’t know if we’ve won one yet.”
Against Piedmont, Russell Givens delivered 12 kills and two aces for the Lady Tigers (5-5). Erin McFry managed six kills, two aces, two blocks and a dig. Maggie Clowdis contributed 29 assists and an ace. Jordyn Walker collected six kills, four digs, three aces. Emma Haney had five kills, five digs, four aces. Mattie Payne posted five digs. Shaya Satcher had three kills and a dig. Haley Allen finished with a dig.
One thing Mullins was glad to see in the Piedmont match was the Lady Tigers picked up their enthusiasm following their Class 1A, Area 13 match against Gaylesville. Cedar Bluff took the first set in that match 25-18, then Gaylesville rallied to take the second 25-18. The Tigers finished off the match with 25-13, 25-21 wins in games three and four.
“We just didn’t execute well tonight,” Gaylesville coach Bryan Young said. “I always say when you mess up you can fix it by making a good play the next time. That didn’t happen. We just kind of compounded those errors.”
In the Gaylesville match, Walker delivered seven kills, five digs and an ace. Clowdis came away with seven kills, three aces and a dig. McFry collected 14 aces, four kills and four digs. Givens managed four kills, three digs and three aces. Haney had nine assists, five aces, three digs and two kills. Allen added six assists, three aces, a kill and a dig. Payne finished with a dig.
Chelsey Cagle contributed six aces, four assists and two digs to lead the Lady Trojans (2-7) in both of their matches. Natalie Baty delivered seven aces, five digs and three kills. Peyton Bright posted four aces, a dig and an assist. Andreah Calvert came away with two kills, two digs, an ace, an assist and a block. Delaney Coker collected two kills, a dig and an ace. Sidney Smith finished with a kill, an ace and a block.
Piedmont also got contributions across the court in both of its matches. Z’Hayla Walker collected eight kills, five digs and two blocks. Armoni Perry posted six kills, five digs and four aces. Ta’Leaha Ridley tallied four kills, three digs, an ace and a block. Jenna Calvert came away with four aces, two kills and two digs. Jaycee Glover added 16 assists, four kills, two digs and an ace. Reece Franklin had a kill, and ace and a dig. Emma Grace Todd and Gracie Epps both had a pair of aces. Epps also had a kill.