By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The JCHS volleyball team had an exciting week with some fierce competition against Chuckey Doak on Tuesday and at home with Elizabethton on Thursday.
The Lady Longhorns traveled to Chuckey Doak and were eager to capture their first conference win of the season. The varsity team
was on fire from the very beginning and swept the win in three straight games.
Coach Michele Cooke was pleased with the overall performance of her team and was encouraged with the improvements they have made in communication and teamwork.
The conference win also took a little pressure off the squad and helped build their confidence for the match against their rivals the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones on Thursday.
The Lady Longhorns came out ready to take on the number one team in the district, the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones. The Cyclones came out strong, but the Longhorns were stronger and won the first of four games.
With seniors, 6’3 Hannah Boster (25) and 6’1 Kaitlin Bailey (23) attacking the net at the very beginning, a strong presence at the net was needed to stop the senior duo.
Senior, Emily Garr, was also on the attack. Garr has done well at the net, but she decided to rein in the two seniors from Elizabethton. Garr took control of the net and blocked well. By the end of the fourth game, Garr shut down Boster and Bailey. Icenhour was also unbeatable at the net, both in blocking and hitting and contributed greatly at the net. Cooke has a great tag team in Cassidy Lakatos and Taylor Cox, both strong setters, but also great hitters.
The correlation of the Lakatos and Cox combo led to some important plays throughout the match. The backcourt was a working machine with libero Hannah Brooks and Abby Cornett facing off against some powerful hits. The Betsy town volleyball squad was blindsided by the level of intensity the Lady Horns brought to their opponents. Coach Cooke praised her team effort and the high level of performance they brought to Elizabethton, stating, “They played well, made some smart decisions, and found holes in their defense.” Elizabethton ended up going home with the win, but Cooke’s perspective is right on the mark about
her team, “even though the score did not indicate a win, it sure felt like one.”
The Lady Horns have a busy schedule next week with three matches and Mountain Empire Classic tournament at Science Hill High School on Saturday.