Cyclone Invite paced by WG, Cocke County

Asst. Sports Editor

  Seven teams competed yesterday in the Second Annual Cyclone Invitational Volleyball Tournament. After five hours of qualifying play, the teams were split into two brackets and West Greene and Cocke County high schools both took home plaques for their efforts.
  Both Elizabethton and Johnson County competed, as did Volunteer, Chuckey-Doak and Cherokee.
  "It has been a good tournament," said Lady Cyclone coach Leslee Bradley. "I appreciate all of the teams that have come. It has really been good competition and a good tournament."
  The Lady Cyclones opened up the tournament against Chuckey-Doak and lost 15-5 in the third set after the teams split the first two. Doak won 25-16 in the opener and Elizabethton came back in the second, 25-12.
  The Lady Cyclones then took on West Greene and lost both games, 25-18, 25-16. Meanwhile on court two, Volunteer defeated Chuckey-Doak 26-24, 25-18.
  Johnson County hit the hardwood in the third set of games and took out Cherokee, 25-19, 25-17. Volunteer took their second win over Cocke County in close games, 25-22, 25-22.
  Elizabethton took their first victory over Cherokee, 25-17, 25-22 while Johnson County took their second over Cocke County, 25-18, 25-17.
  In the Lady Cyclones' victory over Cocke Co., Amanda Ward totaled 13 assists, four attacks, two digs and two aces. Ashley Cline had two assists, four attacks, nine digs and five aces. Katrina Moore lead the team in assists with 16, and had eight attacks and five digs. Holly Livingston led the team in attacks with 10.
  The Lady Huskies won their second time on the court over the Lady Falcons in a 25-7, 25-13 win. Chuckey-Doak then defeated Cherokee, 25-17, 25-18. Cocke took their first victory after defeating Elizabethton after three games, 25-22, 22-25, 13-15.
  Moore lead the team in assists with an outstanding 29 and also had 10 attacks, 13 digs and ace. Ward had 16 assists, 12 attacks, two digs and two aces. Michaela Pietrowski led the team in attacks with 16 and also had two assists, two blocks, eight digs and an ace.
  Cline had two assists, 15 attacks and led the team with 20 digs. Sharalyn Schmidt had 10 digs in the match up and Alissa Manz had 14 digs, two assists and two attacks. Holly Livingston had 13 attacks, four blocks and a dig for the Lady Cyclone team.
  The Lady Longhorns then took their first loss to West Greene, 25-11, 9-25, 15-10. Johnson County made it look like an easy win in the first game but went down early in the second, 16-7, and couldn't make up the difference.
  After this point, the teams were seeded by head-to-head results, number of games lost and points scored against. The Lady Huskies came out seeded first and received an automatic bye. The Lady Longhorn seeded second and Volunteer ranked third for the Gold Division Championship bracket.
  Chuckey-Doak was decided as the fourth seed while Elizabethton was seeded fifth. Cocke County got the sixth seed and Cherokee rounded out the Silver Division bracket at seventh.
  In the Gold Division, Johnson County defeated Volunteer after 24-26, 25-14, 15-13 decisions. In the first game, Volunteer was down 17-8 but rallied back to 18-15 and took the lead at 20-19. Ryann Tillman led the team in this game with an ace, a block and six attacks.
  Volunteer went down early in the second and couldn't make it up in time.
  Laura Peters lead the team this time with three aces and three assists. Ashley Howard also had an ace, two attacks and three assists.
  Volunteer went down 3-8 quickly but brought it back to 10-12 when the Lady Longhorns lost Howard, a starter, to a hurt leg as she went in for a dig.
  Johnson County stayed tough, however, and won the game by two. Howard had two attacks and two assists before she left the game.
  The Lady Longhorns then went up against Lady Huskies for the Gold finals, but West Greene got the best of them, 25-13, 22-25, 15-12.
  Tillman led the team in kills with 13, and also had 14 digs and nine hits.
  Peters tied Tillman in hits and digs, nine and 14, respectively, while Amy Cardwell and Wright both had 20 digs through three games.
  Wright also had nine kills and four hits while Breanna Easley had three kills, one hit and 13 digs. Alysa Billings had a hit and 10 digs.
  "Not all games are perfect and there are always a few bad calls," Peters said. "We shouldn't have been in that situation, but it's okay. We still played our hearts out."
  The Lady Longhorns were disappointed in a few line calls that should have went the other way.
  "We played really hard against some tough competition," Lady Longhorn head coach Michele Cooke said. "I am extremely proud of them. I couldn't ask for them to play any better. We played hard and we could have folded and used it as an excuse. But they didn't. Instead, they pulled together and I am proud of that.
  "I kind of feel like we got robbed there at the end. But I am really proud of my younger ones that stepped up. Easley and Cardwell did a great job even though they don't have a lot of experience. It was a great team effort."
  Cherokee defeated Chucky Doak in two games to advance to the Silver finals, 25-22, 25-12.
  The Lady Cyclones fought hard to stay in the bracket when they faced Cocke County, but lost in two tight games, 21-25, 23-25.
  Ward led the team in assists with 23 and had six attacks, five digs and three aces. Cline also kept the team alive when she went on six ace spree and tied the game at 14-14. She also had two assists, six attacks and led the team with 19 digs.
  Pietrowski also had an ace, 12 digs, six attacks and an assist. Moore had 14 assists, seven attacks and four digs.
  "We did well against Cocke Co," Cline said. "We played our hardest. I think that was the only game we played where we put all out hearts in it. The rest, I think we slacked a lot and didn't give it our all. No one had a good breakfast so no one had energy.
  "On serve-receive, we can't seem to get a good pass going. That is one of our big problems we work on everyday in practice but it is so hard for us. We have some really good servers but the serve-receive killed us."
  Holly Livingston was strong at the net and led the team with 14 attacks.
  Cocke County then took on Cherokee for the Silver finals and walked away victorious, 25-21, 19-25, 15-5.
  "Cocke County is a pretty scrappy team," Bradley said. "We had a hard time putting the ball down on them. We really didn't serve well. We didn't give ourselves enough opportunities as we should have. As we got tired, it got worse and they couldn't fix it"
  "We played really well, but that last game [against Cocke Co.] we kind of shut down," Ward said. "We didn't concentrate and play our hardest. When we played Cherokee, I thought we did really well. We were a team and we talked and we got some good kills."