After a quick home court practice, team rally and snack, the Lady Cougars took their final road trip of the 2018 season. They arrived at The Howard School with high spirits and lots of energy, ready to begin their playoff match versus AASD. They arrived early so they could get a sneak peek of who they would be playing on Thursday. They watched as the #4 Mill Spring Mustangs came away with the out of nowhere match win from #1 seed The Howard School.
The Lady Cougars jumped on the court with enthusiasm, ready to play. The coaches were also enthusiastic but we could feel the jittery nerves present with the arrival of the big day. The set began. As her name describes, Grace, gracefully leads off with 4 beautiful serves to secure an early lead (4-1) for the Cougars. Emily covers and protects the net with skill to help save the serve. AASD comes up to serve and makes quick work of taking the lead, 6-4 as Cougars struggles to communicate and judge the ball. Emily makes a great dig to get the serve back and Julia fires away 3 serves, bringing it to a 9-9 game. The teams continue to trade the serve and bounce back and forth with points. Brandy had a nice save on the net, along with a well placed dink to earn back the serve, 14-19. Julia boldly steps to the line and places her famous lefty serve into the Panther court with 10 shots in a row. Panthers struggle to get her serve and the rest of the Lady Cougars cover the court to keep Julia in the driver’s seat. She puts away the set point, Cougars take it 25-19.
Set 2 begins with a wild crowd, loud bench and amped up Lady Cougars ready to go. Good communication, smart passing, and serving set the stage. This time Emily gets a 7 point serve run with Brandy and Bethany putting in strong coverage on the net and Esther making strong passes into the deep Panther backcourt, together keeping the serve in the Cougar favor. There was an amazing save made by Brandy when the ball bounced off Bethany’s back, which scored a point and the serve, 14-4. Grace and Esther both offered up strong passing in the center back as the Panther’s tried to drop balls into the court, but it didn’t work. The Cougars never wavered, they kept both their head and heart in the game, winning it 25-9.
They again take the court for set 3 with high spirits and communication across the board. They continue to put their passes as directed into the back Panther court, making it hard for them to return. Cougars take the lead early on, though they struggled a bit to keep the serve in their favor. Erin comes off the bench to place a great serve in front of the Panther 10 foot line. Julia passes well to help us get the serve back. Grace again puts away 5 shots bringing the score to 17-8. Anna and Natalia both come from the bench to each put away a service point. Grace places the final point for the Cougars, they win the match 25-16.
It is with great pride that we announce that the Lady Cougars will play for the 1st place spot in the AAC for the first time in Cougar history. The coaches are SO proud of this team of young ladies and how they have held their heads high and worked so hard to get to this place. The reality of winning the championship is within their reach…”Girls – You Got This!”. Please come out to support and cheer them on tonight as they will meet up with the MSA Mustangs at 6pm. Go Cougars!!!