Betsy falls short on 'Senior Night'

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

     Last year on senior night for the EHS volleyball team, North Greene was the squad that fell to defeat during the Lady Cyclones' night of celebration.
     The Lady Huskies must not have forgotten that.
     Senior night 2003 was not as kind to Elizabethton, as North Greene defeated the Lady Cyclones 15-12, 15-8 at Treadway Gym on Monday.
     "I've been with these girls for three years, and they've just improved every year," North Greene head coach Angie Austin said. "They're starting to really hit the ball, and they're starting to serve it well. I feel like we have a complete team this year."
     Led by some strong serving from senior Lauran Marlow, the Lady Cyclones raced out to a 4-0 lead to start the match. After that, it was all North Greene.
     Austin said her seniors didn't let the team get down after the shaky start.
     "I have two seniors that keep the team rolling," Austin said. "They really take charge, and they keep them focused on the game."
     While it was jubilation for a North Greene team that is now 10-5 on the season, the Lady Cyclones are trying to get on track.
     "We're too afraid of losing right now," EHS head coach Leslee Bradley said. "If the least little bit goes wrong, we think it's over."
     EHS suffered a heartbreaking conference loss to a much-improved Johnson County team last week. Bradley said the team has yet to recover.
     "We played our hearts out that night, and Johnson County is a very good team," Bradley said. "We haven't recovered from that."
     Even though things didn't go EHS' way on Monday night, it was still a night to honor the four Lady Cyclone seniors.
     Michelle Collins, Holly Pearson, Megan Street and Marlow were all honored before the contest.
     Bradley is proud of her seniors.
     "Michelle has always played her heart out," Bradley said. "She hates to lose, and you can see that in every point. She's definitely the most competitive player that we've got. Holly Pearson probably has the best footwork and arm-swing of any player that I've coached. She's always worked hard, and has been very dedicated to the team. She's a good person.
     "Lauran Marlow is one who has come a long way. She's had to work to get there, but she's been very, very coachable. Anything that we've told her to do, she's worked on and worked on until she's gotten it. Megan is a second-year player, and if she had come out her freshman year, she would really be a good player. She's got a great attitude, and has been very uplifting to have on the team."
     Despite it being senior night, the Lady Cyclones will have a home game left. That comes Thursday against Watauga powerhouse Sullivan North.
     Bradley hopes the team can turn the corner.
     "We're definitely not giving up on things by any means," Bradley said. "They're too good of athletes to do that. We've just got to find a way mentally to bounce back."
     Collins led the Cyclone attack with five aces and nine digs. Brandi Forbes had six kills for EHS.