Central Heights volleyball standout Chloe Cook forgot to pack her number three jersey Tuesday night. Pine Tree would have just as soon she’d missed the bus, too.
Cook suited up in a junior varsity number nine and played to the nines, leading her Blue Devils to a straight set 25-14, 25-20, 25-10 sweep of the Lady Pirates at the Pirate Center.
The Campbell University commit proved to be as good as advertised. She finished the match with 15 kills and 11 service points.
Central Heights, which came into Tuesday’s match ranked 8th in Class 3A and sporting a 26-4 overall worksheet, provided a good assessment for Pine Tree as league play commences Friday.
“It was good to see our girls fight and give it what they had. This was a very good team they played tonight. I’m excited about Friday night and I think the girls are excited. I think we’re on the upswing just in time going into district,” said Pine Tree head coach Lacy Coldiron.
Pine Tree (11-16) opens league play on the road at Marshall Friday before hosting Lufkin Tuesday at the Pirate Center.
“It was great to see some of the things we did do. I think we stepped up in a lot of ways tonight, especially following such a hard week last week. The girls turned and decided they we’re going to go into district with a good foot forward,” Coldiron said.
In the opening set, Central Heights fell behind 3-0 thanks to a run of service winners from Ryauna Garrett. Cook broke serve with a thunderous kill and Britton Arrant ran off six in a row to give the Blue Devils a 7-3 advantage. They never looked back in the opening set as Cook proved to be as lethal at the service line as she was on the front line with eight unanswered and a commanding 17-6 lead.
The Lady Pirates played their most spirited set in the middle the Central Heights control. Sam Sommerfeld, who led Pine Tree with four kills, opened with one in the second. Malaeka Wilson served an ace and McKenzie Kirk came through with a block at 4-2 in favor of Pine Tree.
A Cook kill squared it at 4-all and Grace Haley went on a 9-0 run that included a couple aces and dump from Emily Petty.
Pine Tree’s best run of the evening came with Garrett at the stripe in the second set. Sommerfeld deftly dropped over a kill and Kendall King blocked an Arrant swing as the Lady Pirates had a 4-0 run. A lift call stopped the scoring at 19-22.
The Blue Devils survived the rally and went to the third set in complete command at 2-0. Tied at 4-all early after Wilson contributed one of her three kill shots, Central Heights began to pull away as Cook opened and closed a 6-0 run with bombs. Haley, meanwhile, was warming up at the line with a couple aces and a 10-4 lead.
Taitum Barry and Kirk each had a couple of kills. Garrett led in service winners with eight and assists with seven. Sommerfeld was tops in digs with a half dozen.