Last match of the season for the Lady Cougars, at home against the Atlanta Jewish Academy Jaguars. The Cougars were a bit sluggish starting off as the Jags server gave them an early lead, 1-6. A couple of rotations and Olivia started the team off with great serving. Two serves in, Celeste picked up a nice save to keep Olivia at the serve, she made 3 more tying up the game at 9-9. Cougars moved through some rotations, as they tried to get back the serve from the Jaguars. They do at 13-17, Alyssa stepped to the line with her strong serve, putting in 3 serves as the Cougars came alive to keep the serve. Anna Morris had a great dig. They are working together well, trying to up the score. Loss of rally as Jags push ahead. Their servers put some pressure on the Cougars, they get it back for Bella to add a couple more serves but the Jaguars take this one, 20-25.
Cougars began set two with Alyssa serving. She made the serve but Cougars lost the volley. Celeste on the net with a nice push into deep AJA court to get back the serve. AJA #4 gets into a rhythm and puts 5 serves over into Cougar court, they worked hard to try to win the rally. Cougars are learning the importance of a good pass on their side of the net. Jaguar front row players are taking advantage of the over passed balls and putting them back into open Cougar court space. Finley has a couple great ups that keep the ball in play. They earned back the serve and Emily put in some high serves over the net that made AJA scramble as our Cougars made their way up the board, 8-9. Anna Scalf follows her up with two tough serves into the deep cross court, tying it up 11-11. Finley runs to the line, her first serve was low and “looked” like it wasn’t going over, the gym heard her exclaims, “oh rats”. But never fear, it dropped into Jaguar court for an ace! She put in two more serves backed up by Cougar coverage, putting them in the lead now, 15-12. Loss of service as AJA #3 puts the pressure back on our Cougars with a string of serves. They pull together and get the rally, now it is 16-18. Alyssa to serve, Celeste is all over the net and pushes some great ones that the Jags can’t pick up. Alyssa has an ace and one more tough serve. They miss the ball dropped into the center, but again score is tied, 19-19. AJA #10 served up an ace but then the Cougars win the next rally, bringing Bella to serve. She is on fire again today with her serve. Anna Scalf sets up Celeste on the net for a kill, 21-20. Bella got an ace and one more serve before loss of rally at 23-21. Pressure is on as they push to win back the serve. They do and Celeste serves up one the Jags can’t return it, Cougars win 25-22.
Bella began set three with run on serving, taking the Cougars into an early lead with the team communicating and moving together. New faces on the court this set help keep the ball in play. Hollyn Kershner gets a ball up on the front row. And Madison Clark with a pass in left back. Loss of the rally with a Cougar lead of 6-2. AJA server takes the Jags up the scoreboard. Cougars struggle to get the serve back but break through at 7-10. Anna Morris brought her tough serve to the Jaguars and our Lady Cougars come together on the court, following the ball and making smart shots over the net. Celeste sets up Alyssa for a hit from the back row that goes deep into Jag territory. After Anna has served 5 in row, Jags call a timeout. She returns to the line with an ace but they lose the rally. Score is 13-11. A long volley plays out between Jags and Cougars, the ladies are covering the court well, it ended with a great hit from Anna Scalf into deep hole for the point. The serve goes back and forth and the points do the same, both teams playing it out. Cougars miss a few serves but remain in the lead. Loss of service, score is 20-18. AJA #15 serving short serves that throws off the Cougars, they are struggling to get the serve in their favor. Olivia to serve and Celeste on the net with a sweet shot to win the point and the serve, 23-24. Celeste serves but Cougars don’t win the volley, AJA wins, 25-23.
Cougars are ready to go, they need this one to stay alive but the set starts with challenges with their serve receive. They are moving on the court but can’t pull it together to win the volley, they are down 5-11. Lack of court awareness is hampering their efforts. They are working hard but having troubles as they can’t complete the play. Score is 10-16 when Celeste came up to serve. Again, her low, tough serve pushes the Jaguars as they try to return it. Lady Cougars are hustling to cover the court. Great dig and save by Alyssa. Seven serves from Celeste boost the Lady Cougars back into this set, they lose the rally but now tied, 17-17. Jaguars are cheering and ready to get back in this one, their server put the pressure on, but our Cougars get it back at 18-20. Emily to serve, she sends some lofty ones over the net that the Jaguars have trouble returning. Bella had a good dig in left back. Loss of rally, they are tied 21-21. Cougar teamwork is happening, they get the serve back, 22-21. Anna Scalf served for two when there is loss of rally. Jags serve two in and both teams are fighting to win each point. Cougars get it 24-24, with Anna Morris to serve. Emily takes a dig in left back to Celeste who sets up Alyssa for hit into deep Jag court. Emily subs out with a twisted ankle, and in comes Lillian Travis to give some help in the back court. Anna serves again and AJA can’t return it, Cougars win, 26-24.
Game five – Lady Cougars are excited! They know they have to start strong, as this is quick set with only 15 points. They won the coin toss and had the serve. Alyssa started them off with a bang, 3 aces in row! The team is low and ready for the ball to return. At 5-0, Celeste has a great dink, so Alyssa can keep serving. She put in 7 serves before the Jaguars got the ball, Cougars lead 7-1. The Jaguars don’t have the ball long as our Cougars won the rally and Bella is up to serve. Her unpredictable serve made the AJA work for every play but the Cougars are on fire and playing for keeps. Bella served four when the Jaguars finally get their turn to serve, score is 12-2. Cougars won’t have that and they won the point, putting Celeste next in line. She put away two more and Cougars get this set and match, 15-2.
What a great end to the season! So proud of their efforts and determination to play this game to the very end. Great season to all and thank you for your support! Go Cougars !