After an 18 month hiatus, the Lady Cougar Volleyball team returned to the Cougar Center for their first home match. The team has been practicing passing, passing and more passing for the past 10 days. Now was their chance to show their stuff and put it into action.

The first set started off slow. Communication and passing was not happening. The ball went back and forth as both teams couldn’t find their rhythm. Mill Spring’s Laura Turnbull pushed the game in MSA favor with 7 straight serves. Cougars struggled to return it. Senior Erin McNeal was consist with her passing and ball placement into the MSA back court, helping to get the serve back in their favor. Freshman Anna Morris was persistent with her passing and court coverage. After getting back the serve, sophomore Celeste Jeoffroy then dropped her soft but well placed serves into the perfect spots that MSA had trouble returning. However, Cougar coverage broke down, MSA got the serve. MSA Amari Jones proceeded to fire back with 6 straight serves of her own, taking the Mustangs in for the win, 25-13.

Game 2 began with a focused Lady Cougar team and freshman Anna Morris came back again with strong passing presence, winning back the serve. Junior Anna Scalf stepped up to serve 6 in row, putting the Cougars in the lead. The game and serve moved back and forth across the net. The Cougars were slowing beginning to see the wisdom of smart ball placement on the MSA court. Junior Olivia Robertson came up to serve and moved up the score with 4 consecutive serves. Erin and Anna Morris and freshman Alyssa Briggs continued to provide great court coverage with controlled passes keeping the ball off the court, helping to get the serve. Senior Alex Nebel moved to service line with 5 in a row. Cougars win, 25-18.

Game three began with a lack of Cougar communication. Cougars struggled with balls hitting open court without movement or communication. They earned back the serve and Erin placed 4 in a row, putting TCS in the lead 6-3. The team began passing balls into the open and deep Mustang court. Alyssa and Erin continued to send tough and well place free balls into Mustang territory. Alex returned to serve with 2 more bringing the Cougars to 15-10. In addition to their great serving, the Cougars fought for the ball with tough volleys and some scrappy coverage. Freshman Bella Aparicio nailed three serves taking the Cougars to 23-19. A quick lapse in center court coverage lost the serve. Anna Scalf puts in the winning service point, Cougars 25-20.

Lady Cougars are ready for this set. The game goes back and forth, unfortunately neither team can hold the ball in their favor. Cougars get the serve and junior Adair Garrett gets to show off her serve with 4 in a row. The team backs up the service favor with great passing and volleys. Alyssa and Erin both are eagerly covering the court to pop up the balls that Mustangs keep trying to drop off in the center court. Anna Scalf shows great persistence with her communication and back court coverage as Mustangs try to also send the ball into the back court. Celeste then puts away another 8 perfectly placed serves, Cougars 20-18 but an error caused them to lose the serve. Alyssa makes a great save returning the service to the Cougars. Ball bounces back and forth. Anna Morris puts in two serves, making the score 24-22 Cougar favor. Cougars lose the serve with a missed ball in their court. They get the serve receive from MSA and volley to win the point. Cougars win 25-23.

The Lady Cougars will meet up with the Mustangs after spring break on April 14 at Mills Springs.