Behind a defense that always seemed to be in the right position and an offense that featured pinpoint setting and accurate hitting, the Lady Cougar volleyball team laid waste to the visiting Scotties from Glasgow in straight sets, 25-21, 25-6, 25-13, in Tuesday evening’s season opener in the Cougar Den.
In the first game of the JV/Varsity opener, the JV squad showed much the same disposition as the varsity as they hammered the Scotties 21-11, 21-10.
The Lady Cougars were out of synch at the start of the match and fell behind in the early going 4-7. But when sophomore Kenzie Skaggs took the serve with her team trailing 7-9, the Lady Cougars came to life. Skaggs served six straight points, including three aces and the Lady Cougars went in front to stay, 13-9.
Following a side-out, junior setter Alexis Hart served four more points to give the Lady Cougars an eight-point advantage, 18-10. Sophomore Ella Robinson had a pair of kills in that run.
The Lady Cougars then ran into some defensive difficulties that allowed the Scotties to pull back to within two points of the lead, 22-20, but they righted their ship after that and were never in difficulty again. At set-point, Robinson blocked a rifle shot from Glasgow’s Jaidyn Franklin to give the first set to the Lady Cougars.
The Lady Cougars scored the first four points of the second set, then expanded that lead to 12-1 following a 7-0 run behind the sure serving of sophomore Bailey Richardson and a pair of kills by Robinson. The Scotties were never closer than nine points the rest of the way. Senior Olivia Lucas served eight straight points, including five straight aces, that took the lead from 15-5 to 23-5.
The two teams had agreed to play a best-of-five format and Grayson County never trailed in the third and final set. The Scotties were never closer that four points after Grayson County raced out to a 6-1 lead at the start.
The Lady Cougars made very few mistakes in their first game of the season. Hart set nearly every ball perfectly to hitters Robinson, Lucas, Skaggs and senior Cherie Meredith. Robinson led the hitting for the team with a variety of powerful blasts, dink shots and two-handed pushes that found empty spaces in the Glasgow defense, and senior libero Laura Higdon was nearly perfect passing from the back row.
A modest 5-0 run that included a pair of aces from Katie Skaggs pushed the Grayson County lead up to six points 11-5 and the Lady Cougars steadily pulled away afterward to take the first set.
The Lady Cougars trailed in the early stages of the second set, but when Lexi Brown took the serve with her team trailing 3-4, she served five straight points, including two aces, and the Lady Cougars held a lead they would not give back.
Leading by four points, 9-5, the Lady Cougars reeled off six straight points, including a pair of aces from Richardson, that increased their lead to 11 points, 16-5. Glasgow was never closer than nine points afterward.
The Lady Cougars will be on the road on Thursday, when they travel to Hawesville to take on the Hancock County Lady Hornets. That match is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org.