The 2011 volleyball season opened at home last night with a promising young Lady Cougar team struggling to find it’s footing.
The Cougars, who have only two seniors on the team, return just four players who saw any playing time at all and their inexperience showed as they got off to a slow start against the Marion Lady Hurricanes.
First year coach Mike Stoots, moving from the JV job last year, is looking for leadership from seniors Jette Wade, who started at middle hitter, and Becky Pennington, who moved to defense this year.
Miranda Montgomery, a powerful spiker started at outside hitter and Morgan Isom has the setter spot filling in for long time setter Maddy Chitwood who graduated last year.
Rounding out the starters are Alivia Alger, playing both backside hitter as well as defense, and Britta Cannoy who anchors the defense. Wade, Pennington and Alger are the only starters who saw major action last year while Montgomery, Isom and Cannoy all moved up from last year’s JV team.
Also seeing considerable playing time last night were sophomores Erin Hamric, Shuby Shumate and Gracie White, with White and Shumate at middle hitter and Hamric at backside.
PCHS found itself down 16-5 in the first game before rallying late only to lose 21-25. Game two was all Marion as a strong Lady Hurricanes team dominated with tenacious defense and powerful hitting to come out on top 15-25.
In game three the Cougars pulled it all together and showed their potential by easily winning 25-16.
The fourth and final game was a more evenly played contest with the Lady Cougars falling late in the game to the Hurricanes 20-25.
"Errors killed us tonight," said Coach Stoots. The Cougars had a total of 61 errors on the night with only five of those coming in the one game they won.
"We have to play all of our games like that one," said Stoots. Britta Cannoy lead the team on defense with six digs while Jette Wade and Gracie White added two blocks each. Miranda Montgomery led all servers with two aces.
In JV action, the Lady Cougars defeated the Marion Hurricanes in two games, winning 25-17 and 25-14 behind the strong serving of Alyson Gilbert, who had five consecutive ace serves in game one and three in game two.
Carlie Perry, Maizy Landreth and Amanda Monroe also contributed their serving skills while the JV team saw strong defensive play from MaKayla Morris, Kristina Simpkins and Megan Kapalin.
Becca Cox and Caroline Sutphin provide the offensive at the net.