Cookeville volleyball coach Jackie Cox said she welcomed it when she saw Soddy-Daisy would be moving into the Lady Cavaliers' league when the TSSAA reclassified districts and regions after last school year. She certainly welcomes it now that her team is 2-0 against the Lady Trojans.
Cox anticipated the addition of the Lady Trojans to District 6-AAA would help beef up the league, and they have. Soddy-Daisy has won all of its district matches except for two — at Cookeville and Wednesday at Soddy-Daisy, where the Lady Cavs won 3-0. Set scores were 25-12, 25-11, 27-25.
Cookeville (15-10, 6-0) took the lead for good in the first set at 5-4. Once it reached 20-10, it was double digits the rest of the way.
The Lady Cavs were even more dominant the second set, again leading from 5-4 on with their largest lead 23-7.
"We served very aggressively, and to the right people," Cox said of the first two sets. "Our serving put them so out of system, they were making unforced errors."
Soddy-Daisy (18-12, 4-2) led from the start of the third set and built the advantage as high as 15-7. But Cookeville caught the Lady Trojans at 16, and it stayed close the rest of the way.
Soddy-Daisy had set point at 24-22 after back-to-back aces by Hannah Rogers, but the Lady Trojans couldn't finish it off.
Cox said she noticed better communication by the Lady Trojans in the third set, which helped upgrade their play while also being a little intimidating to her players. They seemed to regroup after the coach got a little loud during a timeout while trailing by six.
Soddy-Daisy coach Libby Peigen acknowledged her players had been a little too quiet before the third set.
"They were not working well together," Peigen said. "The talking was something I made them start doing. They're not as quick to start it, so when I start challenging them, it's a sign to wake up. Normally it works. We picked up our effort much more after the first two sets."
Grace Roberts led Cookeville with seven kills, and Ruth Ann Ramsey had six. Mattie Arnett had 10 digs and Brianna Bungart contributed nine. Jurnee Wilson totaled 24 assists.
Sierrah Lemons topped the Lady Trojans with five kills. Kylie Brincks was the digs leader with nine and Rachel Rader added eight. Kyleigh Ward had eight assists and Rogers had seven to go with her team-high five aces.
Soddy-Daisy and White County have each at least taken a set from Cookeville. Peigen foresees possibly facing the Lady Cavs again in the district tournament.
"That's not the team they should expect to see if we play them again the rest of the way," Peigen said. "That's if I have anything to do with it."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter @KelleySmiddie.