By Don Brown
Celebrating Senior Night, the Lady Cougar volleyball team downed visiting Butler County in straight sets, 25-4, 25-6.
In the earlier games, the freshmen and JV squads also won in straight sets. The freshman girls won 17-14, 17-6, while the JV girls won 21-4, 21-11.
The Lady Cougars never trailed in either set as they trounced the visitors. After scoring the first five points of the opening set, Grayson County extended their lead to 9-1, then to 18-2 after a 9-0 run that included two kills from freshman Bailey Martin and another from Kelsey Embry.
Two aces from senior Jessi Slayton and a pair of kills by senior Caitlyn Joyce moved things to set point at 24-3, but Butler’s Mikayla Brown put away a kill to keep the match going.
But on the next volley, a Lady Bear return popped up into the speakers above the floor and the Lady Cougars had the first set.
The second set was much the same for Grayson County. Leading 3-1, Lady Cougar freshman Shelby Watkins took the serve and the home team ran off 12 straight points to take an insurmountable 14-point lead, 15-1. Watkins had three aces during the run and senior Jessika Young put away four kills to lead the charge.
Butler County was never closer than 12 points the rest of the way. Leading 23-6, Amber Dotson served a pair of aces to give the Lady Cougars the Senior Night win.
The Lady Cougars got off to a slow start in this one, but soon got things rolling. After three straight rally points, the Lady Cougars got two aces from freshman Miranda Boaz to take a 4-2 lead.
Still leading by two, 5-3, the Lady Cougars put together five straight points, including an ace from Ashley Milliner, to lead by seven, 10-3.
Following a Butler County rally point, then a service error, Katlynn Bratcher took over the serve for Grayson County and she served out for the 21-4 win. Shelby Arnold had two kills in the run, and Bratcher served four straight aces before a Butler hitting error gave the Lady Cougars the winning point.
The second set stayed close until Bratcher took over the serve leading 9-5. Bratcher again served four straight aces to give her team a 13-5 lead.
After reaching set-point at 20-8, the Lady Cougars gave up the serve on a rally point. Butler County’s Kelsie Wilson then served two straight aces to bring it to 20-11, but her next serve was short and the Lady Cougars had the straight-set win.
The young freshman squad played one of its worst games of the year in the first set, with a lack of communication causing them to run into one another several times.
But by the end of the set, they had gotten it together enough to pull out the win. They trailed the Lady Bears 13-14, but a Butler hitting error gave the serve back to the Lady Cougars.
Bailey Elder served an ace to make it 15-14, then the Lady Cougars won the next volley to bring it to set-point. Butler County then committed a hitting error and the set went to Grayson County.
The second set was all Grayson County as they quickly put away the visitors. With Shelby Watkins serving, the Lady Cougars scored the first seven points. Watkins had a pair of aces and Bailey Martin had two kills during the run.
Two aces from Mallory Thomas and a Butler hitting error moved the Lady Cougar lead to nine points, 11-2.
Still leading by nine at 15-6, Rebecca Higdon served two aces to give her team the win at 17-6.