Deductive reasoning isn’t an option when assessing the wacky first half of the Two Rivers Conference volleyball schedule.
Corinth Holders was swept by Triton. Cleveland rolled past Triton, but the Rams were defeated by Corinth Holders. By the time the spinning roulette came to a stop, those teams part of a three-way tie heading into what should be a competitive second-half race.
“When it comes down to us, Cleveland and Triton, it’s going to come down to whichever team steps up and plays,’’ said Corinth Holders veteran coach Charles Riley. “We all want (to win the league), so it will be a matter of which team executes and plays at a high level. All of us are capable of that. It’s going to be an intense race to the finish line.’’
Riley’s Pirates began their second-half TRC schedule Thursday by finishing off a season sweep over host Smithfield-Selma. Scores were 25-14, 25-9 and 25-7 as Corinth Holders didn’t experience a letdown as part of a match the Pirates were expected to win.
Corinth Holders, the defending league champion, is now 11-5 overall and 5-1 in the TRC. Smithfield-Selma, which is rebuilding under coach Deanna Morris, dropped to 4-15 and 0-5.
“We are definitely getting better, especially with our defense,’’ said Pirates’ setter Kinsey Tetterton. “We have made major improvements with the small details. We have become much more consistent as a team.’’
Corinth Holders was never really threatened, and the Pirates took charge for good in the first set when middle hitter Grace Pittman served out seven straight points, two of which came on aces. Julie Weisenberg chipped in with two kills during the stretch. By the time Pittman left the service stripe, Corinth Holders was in control at 20-6.
THREE TO KNOW
Kinsey Tetterton, Corinth Holders: One of the three setters that Riley utilizes, Tetterton made her biggest mark Thursday from the service line. In the second set, Tetterton reeled off 19 consecutive points, which was a season-high for the Pirates. Tetterton sent down six aces as part of the surge, which closed with the Pirates leading 22-4.
“I’ve worked on trying to be more consistent with my serving,’’ Tetterton said. “When you serve to someone and they miss it, you have to try to do it again. I know that sounds harsh, but that is the strategy you have to use. That was the most points I have ever served in a row.’’
Grace Pittman, Corinth Holders: The Pirates’ junior middle hitter was effective with five kills, three blocks and two aces as part of a well-rounded performance.
Jamie Turner, Corinth Holders: Her club’s veteran leader, Turner offered her usual excellence with five kills, six aces and two blocks.
BY THE NUMBERS
5: Corinth Holders used a balanced offensive attack to take the first set and received kills from a quintet of frontliners. The Pirates had eight kills in the opening set alone.
8: Smithfield-Selma was effective from the service line with eight aces. Daley Baker led the way with four, followed by Amber Scoggins with three.
17: The Pirates’ serving was also strong with 17 aces. Six different players notched at least one ace for Corinth Holders.
4: Corinth Holders has four TRC matches remaining, including key dates with Triton (October 4) and Cleveland (October 13) -- both at home.
1: Before arriving at Corinth Holders in 2010 to oversee the new school’s spike program, Riley spent one year at Smithfield-Selma, and there is always a sentimental value whenever Riley brings his club for SSS for a match.
“I really liked it (at SSS),’’ Riley said. “I really enjoyed it and was torn when Corinth Holders offered me the job. I developed some good relationships (at SSS) and have a lot of respect for what Coach Morris is doing. They are on the upswing.’’
THEY SAID IT
“We have girls who are really trying hard,’’ said Morris, whose club swept two-match series with Southern Nash and Nash Central in non-conference action. “We just have to get them to believe. They know what to do. We have some great athletes here. Most of them play multiple sports, and we don’t want to take that away from them.’’