The 8th Grade Cardinal Volleyball team began their season on January 7 with practice #1. And after 30 practices, the team began their final challenge at the Class M State Tournament in Nashville.
They first met Adams of Creal Springs, who the squad had beaten earlier in the season.
“It was good to have played them and gotten an idea of how they play,” Coach Jaclyn Melton said.
In the first set, NCOE had little trouble and won 25-14. But Adams, who had won the tournament last year, wasn’t giving up easily, and the Cards had to battle to win 27-25.
Bree Vollman had 15 points and 14 assists, with Hollan Everett scoring 14 kills and Morgan Bryant 6 digs, to lead the three major categories.
After the win, the Cards had one match to sit through before they met Millstadt from the Belleville area.
“We had watched them play and knew we could compete with them,” said Melton.
NCOE win the first set 25-21, but then Millstadt came back to win the second 23-25. However, the Cards settled down, and behind some good serving and better attacks, the team secured a big lead and won 15-6.
Vollman and Miah Scroggins led the scoring with 13 and 11 points, as Jerra Barton had 11 digs, and Everett had 10 kills.
And with the win, the NCOE Jr. Lady Cardinals stepped into exciting territory as they waited to play Breese in the Championship game.
“We knew it would be tough. This Breese group had gone 84-1 as the team from their 5th-8th grade years, but we were happy to battle them,” Melton said.
At first Breese dominated, as they won 25-12, but then Coach Melton reminded the girls to “battle, just battle” and they did. It was 21-all before Breese managed to close out the set and match. And NCOE earned 2nd place in the tournament.
“Couldn’t be prouder,” Melton beamed.
Vollman led the scoring with 32 points and Scroggins had 19. Barton had nine and Avery Black added 7. Everett and Brynn Warren had 6 each and Bryant had five.
At the net, Everett had a big day with 28 kills. Vollman added 12 to the offense, as Scroggins had 7. Lydia Vineyard had 3 kills and 2 each were recorded by Barton and Bryant. Vollman had 34 assists to lead the setting, as Everett had 5 and Bryant 3. Barton had 2 with Scroggins and Warren each contributing one.
Defensively, Barton was tops with 14 digs and Everett had 10. Scroggins was right behind with 9, as Vollman had 7, Bryant 6, Warren 5 and Black one. Also at the net, Everett had 10 blocks and Vollman 3.
The Cards ended their season with a 22-5 record and 2nd place in the Class M Tournament.
“These girls succeeded because they never quit learning and strived to get better,” Melton said. “They made mistakes and grew from them. They were totally for each other,” she added.
Coach Cathy Black added, “To the very last practice, #30, they were working hard. The tears, the bruises and their successes were all well earned.”
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- NCOE Volleyball teams compete with Flora and Crab Orchard - September 16, 2019
- Cardinals Place Close Second at Fairfield - September 12, 2019
- NCOE Volleyball Begins With Wins - September 5, 2019
- Jr. Cardinal Track fares well at Hamilton County Invitational - April 17, 2019