The Lady Co0ugar volleyball program got its season under way last Tuesday as they hosted district rival Butler County. The varsity girls got a win in three sets, 25-5, 25-10, 25-13, and the JV girls also won in straight sets, 21-16, 21-7.
The visiting Lady Bears stayed close in the opening of the first set, pulling to within two points of the host Lady Cougars until a hitting error gave the ball back to Grayson County with the Lady Cougars in front 8-5. Butler County would not score another point in the set.
Sophomore Miranda Boaz took the serve for the Lady Cougars and did not give it up until her team had won the first set. Boaz served five aces during the 17-0 run. Junior Bailey Martin had four kills and senior Bethany Harting had a kill and a beautiful block at the net for another point.
The second set was never close as Grayson County raced out to a 14-2 lead. The Lady Bears played evenly after that. Martin had a kill on a Butler County serve to give the Lady Cougars a set-point at 24-9, but Madi Mattingly’s hitting error gave the ball back to the Lady Bears. Grayson County then won the set on a Lady Bear serving error.
In the third and final set, the Lady Bears trailed just 4-2 when Arianna Filippone’s kill gave the serve back to the Lady Cougars. Junior Ciarra Meredith then had three aces in a 5-0 run that gave the Cougars a 10-2 lead.
Boaz later served five straight points, including three more aces to put the Lady Cougars on top by 13 points, 17-4.
The Lady Bears put together their best run of the evening by scoring seven straight points to pull to within eight points at 20-12, but they would be no closer.
Katlynn Bratcher took the serve with the Lady Cougars leading 20-13. A Lady Bear hitting error moved it to match-point before Bratcher closed out the match by serving an ace.
This contest figured to be a case of the visitors being over-matched against Grayson County, but after playing superbly in their scrimmage match against John Hardin, the Lady Cougars struggled mightily against the Lady Bears in the first set.
Grayson County never trailed during the opening volleys, but they could not take complete charge, allowing the Lady Bears to hang around a few points behind.
Trailing 14-12, Butler County took the serve and scored three straight points to take their only lead of the night, 14-15. Sophomore libero Ally Felix came up with a kill from the back row to give the serve back to Grayson County.
Mattingly then served three aces in a 5-0 run that brought it to set-point, 20-15. A hitting error stopped the run, but on the next Butler County serve, Saylor Huff had an overpass on the serve fall in for the winning point.
The second set went more to form as Grayson County scored the first five points, including three aces by freshman Emma Wilder, then kept expanding on the lead.
Two Felix aces moved the Lady Cougar lead to 10 points, 16-6. Wilder took the serve with the Lady Cougars on top 19-7. Grayson County won the next volley to move it to match-point, and when the Lady Bears were whistled for a double-hit on a ball, the Lady Cougars celebrated their win.