Lady Buffs subdue Montreat in four

Photo by Kristen Luther
Milligan's Lindsey Wetherholt stretches out for the shot.

By Seth Bartee
STAR Correspondent
The advent of Title IX has set controversy between male and female athletes. Some have said that women's sporting events are not as exciting as men's. But don't tell that to Milligan's Lady Buff volleyball team.
The (7-15) Lady Buffs won three games to one Tuesday at Milligan against the (7-8) Montreat Cavaliers. Despite the score, it was a hard fought and exciting win for Milligan against the Cavaliers.
"The first two games for us were really aggressive, but then we slowed down the last two," said Milligan head coach Kim Hyatt. "It was a good game for us. It was a good conference win as we head into conference play."
The first game the Lady Buffs won 30-26. It was highlighted by a good Milligan offense and defense. Tara Earhart, a freshman middle hitter and former Tennessee High standout, blocked two Cavalier spikes to help Milligan take the set.
"Coach Dempsey (Tennessee High Volleyball coach) trained me hard for four years," said Earhart. "She taught me discipline and pride."
In the second match the Lady Buffs dominated defensively. Sophomore outside hitter and Elizabethton native Morgan Hyatt used her blocking skills and scored on some kills to put the Lady Buffs up 30-26 for the second win of the evening.
Junior rightside hitter Lindsey Wetherholt created points for the Lady Buffs when she scored on a falling shot to make the game 22-19.
In the third game the Lady Buffs were handily beaten 30-13 by the Cavaliers. Western Carolina transfer Hyatt kept Milligan in the hunt in the third but the Lady Buffs fell short in the end.
The fourth game was the most exciting of night, one that saw Milligan and Montreat go back and forth. Wetherholt started the Lady Buffs off in the fourth session with an ace. During the last two matches Wetherholt, who is considered an integral player for Milligan, was visibly in pain.
"Lindsey pulled it together for us," said Hyatt. "She has been experiencing some tendonitis in her shoulder lately."
Earhart continued to play hard on defense and make plays that a senior would make.
"It's awesome to start as a freshman and get a lot of minutes," said Earhart.
The Lady Cavaliers tied the Lady Buffs 22-22 late in the fourth match.
"We had a rocky start but now we are starting to get things together," Earhart said.
The last half of the fourth match saw lead changes and ties. Milligan eventually won on tough defensive play of sophomore Joy Dobbs and Daniel Boone High School graduate Amanda Caldwell. The Lady Buffs won on a kill by Dobbs to win 31-29.
"We are a young team learning to play together," said Coach Hyatt. "We are going to keep and improving and be a lot better in the future."
The Lady Buffs will face Brevard in a conference game at home Thursday at 6:30 p.m. After that they will leave for three away games.