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Lady Trojans advance to Area after straight set win

by Tyler Lennon

After an incredible regular season the Cumby Lady Trojans began their postseason run Monday, when they traveled to Sulphur Springs to face Rivercrest in the Bi-District round of the playoffs. The Lady Trojans entered the game feeling strong, after going 10-2 in district play and winning 14 of their final 16 regular season games.

The first set opened with both teams trading points back-and-forth in the opening possessions, before Cumby went on a 7-2 run to take an 11-6 lead. Rivercrest was able to prevent the Lady Trojans from running away with the set, although they were able to hold on to their lead.

Azlyn Hornsby supplied the Lady Trojans with some momentum, scoring on a kill and an ace on back-to-back possessions. From there it was Ashlyn Hudson who paced the way for the remainder of the set. In the final few possessions Hudson provided a pair of kills and a block, as Cumby took the first set by a close score of 25-23.

The Lady Trojans carried that momentum over to the second start, opening things with a 7-1 run, thanks in part to kills from Hudson, Neely Hammond and Erin Morgan. Rivercrest got the score as close as 8-6 before Cumby answered back with a 8-0 run, taking a commanding 16-6 lead.

During that run Hornsby picked up a pair of aces, while Hammond and Morgan each provided a kill. Finishing the set strong, Hammond had two aces of her own, while Heather McCraw took over, controlling the net with a pair of blocks as well as a kill. Hammond put the set away with a kill, as the Lady Trojans cruised to an easy 25-9 win.

Looking to put the game away in straight sets, Cumby once again got off to a strong start to open the third set. The Lady Trojans got out to a quick 10-3 lead, forcing Rivercrest to call a timeout to try and slow down Cumby’s momentum.

Rivercrest came out of the timeout by scoring on three consecutive plays, but the Lady Trojans quickly put an end to their run, controlling the remainder of the set. Hammond added one kill and one ace to her line, while Morgan added two of each as the Lady Trojans took the set 25-17, winning the game in straight sets.

“The Lady Trojans had good chemistry and played hard to advance to Area,” head coach Marissa Medrano said.

Their good chemistry and strong play showed in the stat book, as Cumby spread around their stats throughout a number of players. Morgan led the team in a number of areas, including assists (22), digs (10) and kills (7).

Just behind her was Hudson, who had six kills, five digs and a very impressive seven blocks. Hammond and McCraw each had strong showings as well. Hammond finished with five kills and six digs, while McCraw had four kills and six blocks. The combination of Hudson and McCraw dominated at the net, combining for 13 blocks between the two of them.

Hornsby was another player who stuffed the stat sheet, posting eight digs, to go along with three kills and three blocks. Savannah Kurn had eight digs and a pair of kills.

The Lady Trojans had another pair of players who had strong defensive showings, Kelcie Fite and Kaylee Bloyed. Fite ended the night with nine digs, while Bloyed had six digs.

The win advances the Lady Trojans to the Area round of the playoffs, where they will look to keep their postseason push alive. Cumby will face Hawkins Thursday at 6 p.m. at Mount Pleasant High School. Coverage of that game will be published Friday.

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