By Grant Stevens - Sports Editor
Sept. 26, 2012 — Last Thursday night not only marked round two of Carter County’s battle for volleyball supremacy, but it also served as a senior sendoff for the Lady Raiders.
On a night in which East Carter celebrated the departure of three of its program mainstays, it also took three of four from the West Carter Lady Comets to make the night a success.
The recent return of senior libero Stephanie Gollihue helped to fuel a first game victory for the Lady Raiders. A strong helping of aces and unreturned serves from sophomore Jordyn Wiler helped drive East Carter to a dominant 25-10 win in the first match.
East Carter Head Coach Cathy Harris said the return of Gollihue has really brought a spark to her team’s offense.
“Stephanie has been a six-year varsity member for us and has started since the eighth grade,” Harris said. “She has been passing the ball really well, and it has really helped bring new life to our offense.”
Game two of the night saw a much-improved Lady Comets team gain the set equalizer. Strong serving and tough play in front of the net by Paige Roe and Megan Centers, as well as the rest of the squad, helped to culminate a 25-10 maroon and white win.
West Carter Head Coach Beverly Barker said she was very proud of the way her girls battled.
“This was our best outing of the year,” Barker said. “We had good setting, serving, and hitting. We have made great strides at just the right time as the district tournament is coming up soon.”
East Carter sophomore Whitney Gollihue and the Lady Raider offensive attack switched on the afterburners in the final two games of the night, turning the tables on West’s girls in the second game to pick up the 25-11 win, before finishing the night with a grinded out final outing in which East won 25-21.
Having a successful senior celebration, Harris said Stephanie Gollihue, Casey O’Brien and Ashli Smith have really made great strides in taking their leadership roles.
“They have really done a great job in taking more a leadership role with this year’s team,” Harris said. “These girls are the type of players that will do whatever is asked of them and are unselfish in order to see the betterment of the team. We are going to miss their presence on the court.”
Grant Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.