This week, the Lady Pounders completed their 2020 season. Central hosted the Lookout Valley Yellowjackets on Monday, September 28, and the Chattanooga Patriots on Tuesday, September 29.
On Monday night, the Lady Pounders re-matched Lookout Valley. In the first set, the purple and gold established their lead and snuffed out the Yellowjackets’ attacks. After great offensive and defensive plays, the Lady Pounders came out with the first set victory, 25-18. In the next set, the Lady Pounders were called for multiple violations, but they still managed to maintain control of the lead. As the second set winded down, the Yellowjackets made things interesting with a late rally. When the dust settled, the Lady Pounders had tacked on another set win, completing the sweep of Lookout Valley.
Before Tuesday night’s game, Central recognized their three senior players with their Senior Night ceremony. Seniors TaNiya Crowder, Kamren Hammonds and Carmen Crabtree were joined mid-court by their parents as they were congratulated by their fans, family, and coaches.
When asked about their Central volleyball experience and their final home game, Seniors Carmen Crabtree and Kamren Hammonds both agreed it was bittersweet. Both were thankful for the opportunity but sad to see it come to a close.
“I have played volleyball at Central all four years of high school,” Crabtree revealed. “I’m sad high school volleyball is over, but I’m thankful for my teammates and especially Coach Ware… they have all made this one of the best times of my life.”
“It has been a fun three years and I am glad I met every single one of those three years because we have had such great teams. I will miss playing for Central so much, it is one of the best experiences thanks to Coach Ware,” Hammonds also explained.
The senior festivities came to a close and the Lady Pounders prepared to play the home-school team, the Chattanooga Patriots. As the game got started, every fan, player, and coach in attendance knew it would be an intense game. Controversial calls on top of an already tense match up lead to tempers flaring on both sides of the court.
The Lady Pounders got the early jump on the rival Patriots. The ladies went on to win the first set by a score of 25-18. The second set was chocked full of violations, causing Central to fall out of sync; the Patriots came out on top, 25-14. With the series knotted up, Central looked to get back on track, but they fell short once again. The Lady Pounders lost the third set, 25-15. In the fourth set, nothing seemed to go the Lady Pounders’ way. The Patriots looked unstoppable; they went up 14-0 over the Pounders. Coach Ware took a timeout which seemed to give the Lady Pounders a new breath of life. Even facing a 14 point deficit, the Lady Pounders battled back. The Lady Pounders played better throughout the remainder of the set but could not catch up. The Patriots tallied a few more points and beat the Lady Pounders, 25-20. The match ended with a Patriot victory, three sets to one.
The Lady Pounders ended their 2020 campaign with a record of 6-12. Looking past the girl’s final record, the Central squad has heart and a never-give-up mentality. They hope their exponential improvement and signature mentality can carry them through the playoffs.
On Monday, October 5, the Lady Pounders will enter the postseason tournament, played at East Hamilton Middle/ High School. They will to play their nemesis, the Hixson Lady Wildcats, for the third time this season. The winner will live to see another playoff game and the loser will go home.
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