Seniors cap solid careers at 'Betsy

By Matt Hill

   Elizabethton High School volleyball seniors Stefanie Cline, Beth Holtsclaw, Rachel Pierce and Sheri Aubrey should become singers. They know how to make records.
   These four young ladies are among the all-time leaders in several EHS volleyball statistical categories. But more importantly, they have helped to make the program very respectable.
   "I think we had a great year," Cline said. "We improved a lot. We played together as a team. We just mainly worked together, and were there for each other. We encouraged each other and that helped us out a whole bunch."
   Cline, who set a school record for serving percentage with a 92.3 percent average, plays very hard each time she goes out on the court from her outside hitter position.
   For Cline, she wouldn't do it any other way.
   "I not only do that for myself, but I do it for my teammates, also," Cline said. "If you're going to be on a team, you have to work together, and you have to give 110 percent. That what I try to do."
   One of the more special moments of Cline's career was a win over North Greene on senior night, which made what was already a night of celebration even nicer.
   "It was great," Cline said. "We were all excited and pumped up. We really wanted to win. It was just a great feeling to win on our senior night because it was our night."
   Cline was definitely a great player, but she saw leadership as her main role on this team.
   "Mainly what I did was just try to encourage everybody, and keep everybody's spirits high. I played my position out and Just did what I had to do to fulfill the duty of my position."
   After taking a year off from volleyball last season, Holtsclaw became a huge contributor for the Lady Cyclones this year.
   Holtsclaw seemed to have no trouble getting back into the flow, netting 141 kills and a school record 51 blocks.
   "I didn't feel like it was that hard," Holtsclaw said. "But I had to step up and play, and show that I wanted to play again.
   The reason that Holtsclaw walked away from volleyball was due to her love for a sport that starts about a month from now.
   "I was focusing on basketball more," Holtsclaw said. "I felt like I just needed the time off."
   After being refreshed, the middle hitter was bound to give it her all this year.
   "I tried to practice hard when we had practice, and I wanted to do good stuff for our team. So I tried as hard as I could."
   With the Lady Cyclones winning five matches, and losing a lot of close ones, Holtsclaw will try to help work the same magic for the basketball team this year.
   Holtsclaw wants to show the same leadership in basketball that she has in volleyball.
   "Our basketball team needs a leader, and I feel like I can be a leader for us," Holtsclaw said. I feel like we're going to do much better this year than we have in the past."
   Leadership is also a strong quality of Pierce. The outside hitter is tied with Aubrey for second in single season aces with 58. Pierce also netted 310 digs in 2001, good for second all-time.
   Pierce was always there when her teammates needed her.
   "I guess I just try to pick everybody else up along with me," Pierce said. "We do a lot better if we're all lifted up, and we're all not so tense. We just do a lot better when we're playing that way."
   Pierce always seems to have a smile on her face when she is playing volleyball, but that still doesn't stop her from hustling out on the court and giving it her all.
   "We try to give it our all," Pierce said. "I feel like I'm letting the team down if I don't hustle."
   Pierce believes that her team was so successful because of the good attitudes they showed, and the support they gave each other.
   "We can't have anybody on the team with a bad attitude," Pierce said. "A team won't succeed if there is somebody holding you back. The seniors tried to be captains and not let a mistake hurt the team."
   Aubrey definitely made her mark on this program. In addition to her 58 aces, the setter also netted 275 assists in 2001 to rank second on the all-time single season leaders list behind Sara Wallingford's 328 in 1999.
   Aubrey is well respected by her teammates for the player and the person that she is, but she shows that same respect for everybody else on the Cyclone squad.
   "I also respect my teammates, and I try to encourage all of them in everything that they do," Aubrey said. "I try to be a help on and off the court."
   After playing through some lean years in volleyball as a member of the EHS squad, 2001 was a welcomed change for Aubrey.
   "We had more success than we have had in the past," Aubrey said. "We really worked hard for everything that we got. We made the other teams work hard for the wins that they got."
   The Cyclones showed how much progress they had made by making it into
   the second day of the District Tournament.
   For Aubrey, it was a shining moment.
   "We all wanted to win, and we played like we wanted it," Aubrey said. "We worked together and got the job done.
   Aubrey hopes her volleyball career isn't over, as she would like to play in college.
   She will do whatever she can to make that happen.
   "I would like to walk-on somewhere because I love the game so much," Aubrey said. "I would like to do that even if I would sit the bench, I would like to still be able to play, and be a good teammate, and help others better their skills."
   These four seniors have helped to put Lady Cyclone volleyball on the map. As these young ladies finish their high school volleyball careers and get ready to graduate, they should have the same success in life as they have on the volleyball court.