Holly Morgan can always look back fondly at her first year coaching.
Morgan and the WCMS Lady Pioneer volleyball team completed a successful first season Thursday, finishing second in the Central Tennessee Conference tournament.
Warren County downed Coffee County in straight sets to advance to the finals, where it fell in two sets to White County.
“I’m proud of our season. Coming into the year with two first-year coaches and nine new players, no one really knew how the season would go,” said Morgan. “I could tell from the first few practices we had a chance to really succeed. The girls fought hard for their record and I’m very proud of them.”
Warren County finished the season 17-3, including a second-place finish at its invitational tournament last weekend at Charlie Dalton Gym. Ultimately, it couldn’t get over the hurdle of beating White County, falling 25-23 and 25-14 in Thursday’s championship game.
“We split with White County during the season. We knew going in we were going to have to play our best volleyball,” said Morgan. “The girls fought hard. Our serving and smart playmaking kept us in the first game, but we made some minor errors that added up. We couldn’t get the momentum back in the second set – we never gave up, Sparta simply outplayed us.”
Warren County showed its fight throughout the night, seemingly never quitting on a set. It was evident from the first match, when it rallied to close out Coffee County, 25-19 and 25-22.
The Lady Pioneers trailed by as many as five in the second set, only to surge to a 19-19 tie late. From there, Bri Taylor took over.
The standout at the net had a pair of big spikes, along with two serves which resulted in points.
With Coffee County scrambling to save its season, Kennedi Pegg delivered the final blow.
Pegg, as she had all night, spotted Coffee County creeping too close to the net as she set up for a set. She reversed course, pushing a shot to the back corner to give Warren County the win.
“We had split with Coffee County too, so there was a lot of pressure on this game. Our girls went out and played two great games of volleyball,” said Morgan.
The Lady Pioneers again showed their resolve in the championship, climbing out of a seven-point hole against White County to force another late tie. This time, the visiting Warriorettes would withstand the rally and take the first set.
Warren County ran out of steam in the second set, falling for just the third time all season.
For their efforts, which included a victory Tuesday in the quarterfinals, Pegg and Krista Chisam were named to the all-tournament team.