Cleveland Sweeps Ooltewah 3-0 For Third Straight 5-3A Volleyball Title

Lady Blue Raiders Now Primed To Make Another Strong Tournament Run

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - by Larry Fleming
Cleveland sophomore Joy Douglass, left, tries to beat the defense of Ooltewah's Alyssa White during their District 5-3A volleyball match at Cleveland's Raider Arena. The Lady Blue Raiders swept the Lady Owls, 3-0, to claim their third straight district regular-season title. Douglass finished with 13 kills, 18 digs and one block.
Cleveland sophomore Joy Douglass, left, tries to beat the defense of Ooltewah's Alyssa White during their District 5-3A volleyball match at Cleveland's Raider Arena. The Lady Blue Raiders swept the Lady Owls, 3-0, to claim their third straight district regular-season title. Douglass finished with 13 kills, 18 digs and one block.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Tuesday’s District 5-3A volleyball match pitting visiting Ooltewah against Cleveland at Raider Arena was heavily weighted toward the Lady Blue Raiders.

“I felt like we had a lot of advantages tonight,” Cleveland coach Patricia Flowers said. “Home court, Senior Night, Pink Out, with a lot of emotions and that helped us.”

The Lady Blue Raiders started strong and finished fast with a 3-0 sweep of the Lady Owls, a win that gave Flowers’ squad its third straight district regular season championship.

Set scores were 25-21, 25-16 and 25-21.

The Lady Raiders were tied with Walker Valley going into Tuesday’s action and improved to 7-1 in league play. The Lady Mustangs (6-1) have one district game remaining with Bradley Central on Thursday and even if they beat the Bearettes, Cleveland owns the tie-breaker between the two county rivals.

Along with the title, Cleveland also earned its third straight No. 1 seed for the district tournament that begins Monday at Ooltewah.

“We just had to win tonight,” said Flowers, who has directed the Lady Raiders to back-to-back state tournament appearances. “The sky is the limit at this point for Cleveland. We’re playing some of our best volleyball the last few games.”

Cleveland followed up district regular season titles in 2016 and 2017 with district and region tournament championships and victories in the sectionals to reach the state tourney in Murfreesboro.

“My confidence is huge and the team’s confidence is great going into the district tournament,” said sophomore Joy Douglass, who had 13 kills, 18 digs and one block. “We have great talent and chemistry out there.”

Despite Tuesday’s sweep, Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen took solace in that her squad contested all three sets – the Lady Owls (9-17, 3-4) lost a 3-1 match against Cleveland earlier this month.

“Cleveland is a good team with a fast offense,” Peigen said. “They’ve got some height. Cleveland winning three games was impressive and they’re a well-coached team that should do well in the tournament. All three games tonight were close, but we continue to make unforced errors, mental errors and we have to stop doing that. Those are momentum losers.”

Ready to make it a short night, the Lady Raiders worked their way into a 16-10 lead on senior Nicole Glaser’s kill and an Ooltewah error by Cheyanne Sales, credited with 10 kills, four blocks and six digs in the match.

Glaser had a kill and well-timed dink and Cleveland’s advantage was 18-12. Glaser finished with 10 digs, eight kills and two aces.

The Lady Owls scored five straight points, thanks to four Lady Raiders’ errors and Alyssa White’s ace. Cleveland senior Anna Renshaw dropped a dink and Ooltewah had another effort and suddenly the Lady Raiders lead was 20-17.

Madalyn Mills, who had 3 kills, nine assists and 15 digs, scored on a kill and freshman Amya Sutton’s slap ricocheted off a Cleveland player and the Lady Owls were back to within 20-19. Douglass’ kill, a kill and block by Lily Oliver and an Ooltewah misplay produced a 24-19 Cleveland lead.

The Lady Owls scored twice, but Oliver’s kill ended the match.

“It was awesome to have (all four) seniors on the court for that last point and allow Ally Renshaw to set her sister (Anna) for the first and last time in their careers,” Flowers said.

Anna Renshaw turned in another solid effort with five aces, 12 kills, 18 assists, nine digs and half a block.

In Set 1, Ooltewah stayed with Cleveland early and eventually tied the game at 13-13 on Ariel Reid’s service point. Later, Sales notched another kill and tied the set at 18-all on Cleveland’s unforced error. The Lady Raiders scored seven of the final 10 points, including Anna Renshaw’s kill, to wrap up the opener.  

“After four years with this program it was emotional tonight playing my last home game,” said Lydia Martin, who has 20 digs and two assists. “We practiced really hard for the tournament last week in South Carolina and tonight we focused on getting the lead and making sure we didn’t get in a hole.”

A couple of streaks enabled the Lady Raiders to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

Nursing a 13-12 lead, Cleveland ran off five straight points on three Lady Owls’ errors and a kill and block by Oliver to grab an 18-12 lead. Three Lady Raiders’ errors and Sales’ block against Oliver’s slap drew Ooltewah back to within two points.

Cleveland ended the suspense by scoring the final eight points that included two Anna Renshaw aces and Oliver’s spike.

All Cleveland had to do was then take care of business in the third set.

“We went to the silver (bracket) championship this past weekend in the Hub City Classic in Spartanburg, South Carolina and played really good against good teams,” Flowers said. “They’ve got to shine next week. Ooltewah is going to be the third seed, so they’re not out of this yet. If we stop thinking about Ooltewah and Walker Valley, we could go home with an upset. It’s important to focus on the game at hand.”

Statistics

Ooltewah

Cheyanne Sales – 10 kills, 4 blocks, 6 digs

Jensen Davis – 3 kills, 1 block, 14 digs, 1 ace

Ariel Reid – 14 digs

Madalyn Mills – 3 kills, 9 assists, 15 digs

Alyssa White – 2 kills, 6 assists, 6 digs, 2 aces

Caty Hughes – 2 blocks

Addison Duplantis – 5 digs, 2 aces

Amya Sutton – 2 kills, 3 digs

Cleveland 

Ally Renshaw – 1 dig, 2 assists

Anna Renshaw – 5 aces, .5 block, 9 digs, 12 kills, 18 assists

Bri Daniel – 5 digs, 11 assists

Cydney Brock – 3.5 blocks, 2 digs, 1 kill

Elliot Brock – 2 digs, 1 kill

Joy Douglass – 1 block, 18 digs, 13 kills

Katie McGinnis – 2 digs

Lily Oliver – 3.5 blocks, 1 dig, 7 kills, 1 assist

Lydia Martin – 20 digs, 2 assists

Madaline Dasher – 6 digs, 1 kill, 1 assist

Nicole Glaser – 2 aces, 10 digs, 8 kills

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)




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