Lady Mustangs Corral Lady Owls, 3-1, To Keep Share Of 5-3A Volleyball Lead

Walker Valley Gets Fast Start, "Finishes" Ooltewah With Strong Fourth Set

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - by Larry Fleming

After dropping the first two sets, Ooltewah gained momentum by staving off defeat and was playing visiting Walker Valley on almost even terms before the Lady Mustangs did what the Lady Owls could only talk about.

Walker Valley finished off a 3-1 volleyball victory Tuesday night and stayed tied with Cleveland atop the District 5-3A standings. The Lady Mustangs (16-10 overall) and Lady Blue Raiders have identical 6-1 league records and split their regular season matches.

Tuesday’s set scores were 25-22, 25-13, 17-25 and 25-16.

“Every single day in practice we work on finishing a match,” said Walker Valley’s Carissa Frost, who had two kills, one assist and 19 digs. “If you don’t finish the game, you can’t win the game.”

The Lady Mustangs have non-district matches against Soddy-Daisy and Rhea County next up before closing out the district regular season at Bradley Central on Sept. 27.

Ooltewah (9-11, 3-3) plays at Soddy-Daisy on Wednesday and then faces Cleveland next Tuesday and Thursday. The Lady Owls will host the district tournament on Oct. 1-2.

“It’s hard to come to Ooltewah on Pink Out Night and Senior Night and face an Elaine Peigen-coached team – they threw everything they could at us tonight – and not expect a tough match,” Walker Valley coach Aubrey Reagan said. “We had a tough mental practice (Monday) on purpose just to get ready for this match.”

After Ooltewah stayed alive with the third-set victory, the Lady Mustangs had a shaky 12-11 lead in Set 4. They went on an 11-1 run – Macy Nipper scored three points and Kaylee Hughes added two in the spurt – to open a 23-12 lead.

Ooltewah scored four straight points to trim Walker Valley’s advantage to seven points. Cheyanne Sales had a kill and an ace and Caty Hughes threw in a kill and the Lady Mustangs contributed an unforced error in the lady Owls’ spree.

Sales, who had 12 kills, four blocks and one dig, sent a serve past the baseline and Sophie Frederick’s lone ace ended the match. Frederick finished with a whopping 31 assists, 12 digs, three kills and the ace.

Peigen was a bit perturbed after the match.

“I’m frustrated and my girls are frustrated,” she said. “We missed four serves in the first set and I don’t know how many in the match. It’s the little things. You can’t make mental errors and not expect them to cost you. I still say we’re a good team and if they play good ball we’ll be OK.”

Walker Valley began with two strong sets – Ooltewah’s only lead in opening stretch was 5-4 in the first – and seemed to have set the tempo for the match.

The Lady Owls trailed 18-17 in the first but four straight points gave the Lady Mustangs a 22-17 lead. Nipper had two aces, Mikayla Beasley fired an ace and Ooltewah’s Madalyn Mills’ errant serve finished the run. Mills had eight kills, 10 assists and 15 digs in the loss.

Later, Sales’ block of a Beasley shot brought Ooltewah to within 24-22 and Beasley unleashed a slap shot to give the Lady Mustangs a 2-0 lead.

Mills scored on a kill and Sales blocked Frost to push Ooltewah’s lead to 11-7 in the third set. The Lady Owls scored 10 of the next 13 points, pushing their advantage to 21-10. Sales had two slaps and a kill and Addison Duplantis added a service point and ace in the run that gave Ooltewah the upper hand.

The Lady Owls had a 23-13 lead when Walker Valley notched four of the next five points – Kaylee Hughes and Frost had kills in the stretch. Sales’ kill enabled Ooltewah to extend the match.

“We’re still putting the pieces together, but we played hard tonight,” said Ooltewah’s Jensen Davis, who finished with four kills, 10 digs and an ace. “We were talking and playing together as a team in the third set. We were down 2-0 and knew we had to play harder.”

Statistics

Walker Valley

Mikayla Beasley – 11 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs, 2 aces

Sophie Frederick – 3 kills, 31 assists, 12 digs, 1 ace

Carissa Frost – 2 kills, 1 assist, 19 digs

Sophie Fugate – 1 assist, 4 digs, 1 ace

Laney Harris – 11 digs

Kaylee Hughes – 6 kills, 3 blocks, 1 dig

Anna Grace Jackson – 24 digs, 1 ace

Melody McRee – 6 kills, 3 blocks

Macy Nipper – 9 kills, 1 block, 13 digs, 3 aces

Ooltewah

Ariel Reid – 16 digs

Cheyanne Sales – 12 kills, 4 blocks, 1 dig

Madalyn Mills – 8 kills, 10 assists, 15 digs

Jensen Davis – 4 kills, 10 digs, 1 ace

Caty Hughes – 2 blocks

Alyssa White – 2 kills, 10 assists, 6 digs, 1 ace

Addison Duplantis – 4 digs




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