by Rusty Ellis
The Upperman Lady Bees won two hard-fought sets before rolling in the third of a 3-0 sweep against non-district foe Gordonsville on Tuesday evening.
The Tigerettes jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the opening set, but Upperman came roaring back on a Lila Cade kill to knot the score at 5-5. The two teams then traded the lead for a couple rallies before another Cade kill pushed Upperman on a run to stretch the lead to 14-10. Gordonsville wouldn’t go away, as they forced a tie at 19-all late in the frame. Korra Bass’ ace pushed the Lady Bees out in front 20-19 and while the visitors got within a point at 24-23, Upperman mananged to close the set out 25-23.
The second set saw Bass continue her excellent play with two consecutive aces to give the Lady Bees a 4-2 lead. Both teams settled in for another competitive set, and it wasn’t until UHS took a 20-18 lead when it felt like someone had control of the set. Cade then accounted for two straight aces to give Upperman the 25-21 win.
It was all Lady Bees in the final set, as a Cade kill keyed a 9-3 run to start the frame and Upperamn went on to take a 25-8 win on a Bass ace to finish off the sweep of the Tigerettes.
“Our main focus right now is mindset and what we have coming up in the next week,” said UHS head coach Barbie Cook. “So far this week, we’re seeing what we need to focus on and what we need to work on, and we can get those minor errors that we weren’t catching so we can fix them in-game.”
The first two sets saw moments late where Cook was displeased with how her team played, leading to a pair of timeouts. Whatever she said worked, because Upperman came out of both timeouts with renewed energy and it helped aid them in the sweep.
“I always focus on what’s going on in their heads to get them to re-focus and re-group,” Cook said. “I went around and tried to get them to say something positive about how they were playing…so to try to get all of their mindsets in a positive place, it gets us out of that negative mentality.”
With just one more game left in the regular season, Cook says she’s feeling really good about how her team is playing with the district tournament right around the corner.
“We went to a tournament this weekend and we were without Kaitlyn Foster,” Cook said. “So to play as well as they did while running sets we’ve not spent time on says a lot about how they can adjust on the fly…we had to do something completely different that we haven’t done all season and they won. I know they can do anything if they put their mind to it.”
Upperman will take on Sparta on Thursday, while Gordonsville will battle county rival Smith County on Wednesday.