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Lady Bulldogs start season with win

BATTLE OF THE BULLDOGS

Posted: August 15, 2015 - 11:05pm
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Harlem's Courtney McCauley bumps the ball as the team defeated Butler 3-0 Tuesday night.   Photos by Todd Bennett
Photos by Todd Bennett
Harlem's Courtney McCauley bumps the ball as the team defeated Butler 3-0 Tuesday night.

After reaching the state playoffs in 2014, Harlem High School’s volleyball team started 2015 off on the right foot.

In a battle of Bulldogs, Harlem was victorious Tuesday night, defeating Butler 3-0. It was their serving that paced them to the 25-11, 25-11 and 25-9 sweep.

“Our serving was strong and our defensive readiness was good,” said Harlem coach Scott Hawkins, whose Lady Bulldogs recorded 33 aces.

Hawkins said their hard work over the summer was evident.

“It definitely showed but there’s definitely room for growth,” Hawkins said. “I’m marking off the checklist in my head we’re going to work on tomorrow but I’m happy with tonight.”

Harlem senior captain Samantha Clayborn was all over the court for the Lady Bulldogs recording 12 aces with three kills and an assist. Like Hawkins, Clayborn thought there was work to be done in serving and hitting.

“We had a couple of times where we got lazy and need to just be ready for the next ball and let the last ball go,” Clayborn said.

In the opening game, Clayborn had four straight aces to stretch a 7-4 lead into a commanding 11-4 advantage. She would then record four more to finish out the game.

Halley Wyatt was second on the team with nine aces. Leading 5-2 in the second game, Wyatt pounded home six consecutive aces as part of a 7-0 run that helped break it open.

In the third game, it was Hallie Unger’s eight straight aces that turned a 2-3 deficit into a 10-3 lead.

Butler had just one practice on Monday and their young team was trying to mesh in the heat of competition.

“There’s only room to improve, first time they’ve played together as a team,” said coach Evalissa Young.

Also starting their season Tuesday night was Lakeside which beat Westside, 3-0, by 25-2, 25-15 and 25-6 margins.

Jessica Daniels led the way with five kills, Sophie Simpson and Kelsey Cunningham had three apiece and Abby Mash had two.

Allie Adams assisted on eight of the kills and led the team with five aces and Jordan D’Amelio had three assists.

From the service line, Emma Lowe and Cunningham had three aces while Katie Shivers and Simpson each had two.

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