Elizabethton starts strong before falling to Central

  By Rebecca Pierson
  ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
rpierson@starhq.com
  The Elizabethton Lady Cyclones celebrated their Senior Night Tuesday night at Treadway gym, but did not get the opportunity to celebrate a win, as the Sullivan Central Lady Cougars came out on top, 25-21, 25-10, 25-8.
  Arielle Warner and Sharalyn Schmidt are the only two seniors on the young team, but the entire squad came out fired up in the first game.
  "I thought we were going to pull it off and win," Warner said. "They just killed us in the second and third games, and we couldn't bring it back up. The crowd was amazing. We have never had a crowd like that. They were so loud. It helped us a lot, I think. I think we would have done worse if they hadn't been there to cheer us on."
  This finishes up the regular season for 'Betsy's varsity squad while the JV squad will compete in a tournament this Thursday at Sullivan North. The JV's lost 2-1 to Central, 25-16, 18-25, 13-15.
  "The thing about my two seniors is their attitude," Cyclone head coach Leslee Bradley said. "That is something that you can't replace. Both of them have real good work ethics. They come to practice and work hard on improving every day.
  "Just by example, that is good leadership. I am going to miss that from both of them. Both of them have improved immensely in their game since they started."
  Central would put the ball out of bounds and Elizabethton's Ashley Cline would serve up an ace for a 2-0 start in the first game. Centralhit another on out of bounds, but then a missed block put the serve back into the Cougar court at 3-1.
  Beth Shelton would put down a kill for Central and Stacy WIngate would serve up an ace to tie it at 3-3.
  The score was 5-4 when Holly Livingston put down a kill for the Cyclones. Amanda Ward then shotdown two straight aces and Livingston killed it again for an 8-5 lead.
  The Lady Cyclones then made an error but Katrina Moore put down a kill before Livingston ace it for a 10-6 advantage.
  A few errors and bad serves off both sides of the court brought the game back up to a 13-13 tie.
  It stayed within one when Michaela Pietrowski put down two straight kills, but the Cougars would have a kill and an ace for a 21-19 advantage. Pietrowski delivered another kill, but an error brought it back to a two-point margin.
  Ashley Quesenberry had an ace for Central, but then served into the net to put it back into the Cyclone court. A bad serve and an error gave Central the game.
  Moore led the squad in assists with 18, five aces and tied Cline in digs with eight. Pietrowski lead the team with 15 attacks and eight blocks. Schmidt totaled 18 serve receives for the team and had eight digs.
  "We had a lot of fun," Schmidt said. "I am glad that we played hard through all three games. We just got frustrated in those last two games and gave up an bit."
  The District 1-AA tournament will begin on Monday, but Bradley saw a lot of improvement in her girls in this match.
  "They played an excellent first game," Bradley said. "We made more mistakes as the night went on. Central forced us to make more mistakes. I was still impressed in the third game, and what impressed me about the game the whole night was how hard we made it on Central.
  "They had a hard time putting the ball away. They were hitting it hard and they were tipping it. They were trying to find open spaces on our court and couldn't because we were covering out court really well. We were still doing that in the third game. We just had a lot of forced errors."