By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
HOLLY POND —
The 2013 season didn’t get off to the best of starts for Michelle Greenlee and the Cullman volleyball team.
The Bearcats lost their first match of the year to Brewer a week ago before going a troublesome 0-4 in tournament play the ensuing weekend.
After splitting matches with Randolph and Hayden on Tuesday, the Black and Gold came into Thursday’s trimatch against Holly Pond and New Hope looking to correct one of their most glaring holes so far on the young season — errors.
“Those have been a big problem for us,” coach Greenlee said. “We had been giving too many teams too many easy points in our first few games. We fixed that tonight.”
Following a sound defeat of New Hope by both Cullman and the Broncos, the two teams engaged in quite a battle of their own over three grueling sets.
The Bearcats railled from as many as seven points down in the first set to tie it at 23-all.
However, an ace from Melissa Clingman and a kill from Natasha Holcombe allowed the Green and White to steal it away and take an early advantage in the match.
Unfortunately for Holly Pond, that’s where the fun stopped.
Cullman blasted the Broncos 25-12, 15-7 in the final two sets to easily run away with the trimatch victory.
“We really turned things around in those last two sets,” Greenlee said. “I was proud of them for that, because last week this team wouldn’t have done that. They would have laid down and died.
“We did what we had to do tonight. We fixed most of our errors in the last two sets, and we didn’t give them any easy points.”
While complete stats were unknown, Olivia Kontogeorge and Kaitlyn Brannon led the Bearcats in kills and assists, respectively.
Cullman will now turn its attention to area play with matches against East Limestone and West Point looming next week.
“We want to get a good seed in the area tournament,” Greenlee said. “It’s a confidence booster really. We haven’t had a great team over the years, but we have a lot of talent. Every game we play is building their confidence. It’s letting them realize how talented they are when they play as a team.”
The loss was the Broncos’ first of the season, bringing their overall record to 5-1. With their win over New Hope, the Green and White are now 3-0 in area play.
“We will come back strong,” coach Emily Brown said of her team. “It’s been a good start to the season, especially in the area. It was big to beat New Hope, so I’m proud of them.”
Holly Pond defeated the Indians 25-21, 25-21 and 25-13, while the Bearcats upended them 25-18 and 25-13.
Statistics from the Broncos’ matches were also unknown.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.