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Volleyball team handed tough loss
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In one night, the Warren County High School volleyball team looked like it was primed to erase 25 years of losing to the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers.The Lady Pioneers took the first two sets of Thursday’s road match and were one more set away from ending Cookeville’s 30-game district winning streak, but finishing off the Lady Cavaliers proved to be too much.After Warren County won 25-22 and 25-23, Cookeville swept the final three sets 25-23, 25-23 and 15-6 to hand the Lady Pioneers their fourth loss this season and keep its dominance of District 6-AAA intact.Cookeville’s winning streak over Warren County started seven years before the oldest members of the current Lady Pioneer team were born, but seniors Caroline McKinley, Blair Fisher, Kaitlin Lawrence, Megan Dishman, Karaline Deaton and Emily Newman have been pointing to this season for four years as the time the Lady Cavaliers would fall.The prediction looked promising when Warren County won back-to-back sets off Cookeville for the first time in 25 years, but coach Franklin Fisher saw his team struggle to finish in the third and fourth sets.After the Lady Cavaliers fought back to tie the match, all the momentum was on Cookeville’s side as it coasted to a victory in the fifth set to claim the victory.Although the loss was devastating for the Lady Pioneers, coach Fisher couldn’t have been prouder of his team following Thursday’s near miss.“I’m extremely proud of these young ladies for their effort,” said Fisher. “It was a great match except for the outcome. We played strong for two and a half sets, but lost focus and had problems finishing them.“It was the first time in 25 years we have won back-to-back sets against Cookeville and we’ll go back to practice and strive to get that third set next time.”Warren County went into Thursday’s match knowing the history behind the rivalry, but the Lady Pioneers weren’t intimidated by Cookeville.With Fisher finding McKinley, Dishman and Lawrence for kills, the Lady Pioneers won two hard-fought sets by the narrowest of margins.Warren County looked well on its way to a sweep by jumping out to a lead in the third set, but Cookeville started its comeback.The Lady Cavaliers rallied to win 25-23, the same score Warren County won with in the first two sets.Coach Fisher thought McKinley’s play jumped a notch in the fourth set, but the same result followed.