October 13 at Mill Springs

Cougar Volleyball travelled to Mustang territory for their last regular season match last week. Anxious to play the Mustangs, they took the court with Cougar pride. Starting strong, Alaina Larson put them on the board first with an ace. The team moved well, both covering and passing. At 4-2, Bella Aparicio came up to serve. She put in 3 serves with 2 of those as aces, now it was 7-3. Volley was back and forth as the Mustangs tried to break ahead. Cougars are challenged to return the serve from Mustang #5 as she edged up the points, 9-8. Cougars earned it back but could not keep it. Mustang #18 fired away some tough serves as they took lead. 12-13. Anna Morris to serve, she sent it deep with 3 in a row. Alyssa Briggs played tough on the net with a point for the Cougars. Alaina returned to serve, 16-15. She put in her signature serves that are low to net and difficult to return – 5 in a row. Score was 20-15 when Cougars lost the rally. Anna had a great dig to get back the serve. Teamwork and court coverage prevail and TCS get the serve back. Bella put in three more, the Cougars to take set one, 25-21.

Set 2, Cougars are ready to go. Alyssa was up to serve and she was on fire. Perfectly placed serves that are long and hard to return. Mustangs were struggling. Alyssa had 5 aces with a total of 18 serves in a row! It was a career high on serves for the team and for Alyssa. Cougars are doing it, 19-5. Carly Love had 2 serves and then Celeste Jeoffroy sealed the deal with the final serve, Cougars win set 2, 25-8.

Set 3 began with true purpose for the Cougars. Strong serving continued for our Cougars. Alaina and Alyssa helped to tally up the score in combination with Celeste who had a pretty backward dump into open Mustang center court, Cougars 9-6. Followed by a little bit of back and forth as the Cougars make a number of errors causing loss of service, they are down 14-16. Bella to the service line with 3 deep shots that MSA can’t return. 17-16. Loss of rally, and then tied up, 17-17. Celeste dropped some nice shots into open court to earn back the Cougar serve. She went to the service line with 3 in row, backed up by the team covering and passing the ball. Cougars took it, 25-19.

Fast forward to Monday, October 17 as the two teams met up again at Atlanta Area School for the tournament playoff  – #2 seed (TCS) versus #3 seed (MSA).

Bus 428 headed out to Clarkston on Monday afternoon. Cougars started off slowly as the score jumped back and forth but had the Mustangs leading the way. Finley Love came off the bench to get the serving started for TCS. She put away 2, score was now 4-8. Anna at the service line helped to move things in the right direction with 3 serves, Cougar tied at 9-9. Even with Mustang game and rotation confusion, Cougars remain strong. Alaina continued the trend with 4 tough serves that really challenged the Mustangs to return them. Alyssa picked up some nice dumps from MSA #14 keeping the ball in Cougar favor. She also hit the ball to the open left side of the court, to win the point. She was up next to serve and proceeded to claim 6 serves for the Cougars, score was now 20-12.  Bella and Finley both back around to serve and our Cougars finish off set one, 25-19.

Set 2 began with a missed Mustang serve putting Alaina at the service line.  Hard hit serves that were low to the net kept the Mustangs at bay for 9 serves, 10-1. Followed by Alyssa with her equally tough serve that added 6 more to the score, including 2 aces. She placed them perfectly to keep the Cougars moving ahead, 17 -4. Along with another 7 serves from Bella, continuing to plague the Mustangs serve receive, TCS put the second set to rest, 25-7.

Third set began with Alaina firing away three serves to the perfect targets getting things started for the Cougars, 3-0. The team is communicating and ready for returned balls when they made their way back to Cougar court. Score is 4-4, Mustangs are fighting to get in this one. Cougars go through their whole rotation back to Alaina at the service line, 10-8. Alaina found her sweet spot to serve to and added 3 more points. Alyssa is now up to serve with serious determination and focus on both her serve and court placement. She is on fire and when the Mustangs can get the ball back, TCS defense covers the court. Alyssa nailed 11 serves with an ace for match point! Cougars win! 25-11.

The Cougars meet up with Howard Hawks this afternoon again at Atlanta Area School. TCS is ready to push ahead, relying upon teamwork and their season experience to put pressure on the undefeated Howard Hawks! Come out to cheer them on! Go Cougars!