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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Cloverdale clinches conference title with win over South Putnam

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Putnam County tournament champions. Putnam County regular season champions. West Central Conference champions.

Class 2A No. 12 Cloverdale's volleyball squad managed to bag all three monikers this season, improving their record to 18-1 after defeating South Putnam 25-12, 26-24 and 25-13.

The win secured the latter two titles after they knocked off the Eagles to go 3-0 within the county and 5-0 in the WCC.

Cloverdale started off all three sets with a flourish, pounding the Eagle front line through Bradanne Toney, Paige Gruener and Taylor Jones.

After falling to 5-1 and 10-2 deficits, South Putnam made their first push of the night, closing the score to within three at 13-10 before the Clovers finally snapped back into the attack.

The visitors scored 10 of the final 12 points to finish off the first set and cruised to a 6-0 lead in the second set.

Cloverdale seemed to be in control through much of the set, putting the host Eagles on their heels and built up a comfortable 22-11 lead.

But about the time most fans might have thought the set was all but decided, South Putnam began a ferocious rally behind the serve of Megan Guthrie.

Hits that the Clovers had made routinely before suddenly went awry and the hosts went on a terrific 13-1 run to take a brief 24-23 lead.

Guthrie finally lost serve long and Cloverdale, sensing the opportunity, finished the set off behind two Adrianna Patterson points.

The third set mirrored the first in most ways possible, with Cloverdale again jumping out to a 6-0 lead, increasing the lead to 10-2, allowing South Putnam to close to within five at 15-10 and the Clovers finishing the contest off on a 10-3 run.

Toney proved to be too much to handle, recording 24 kills, 11 digs, five blocks and a point. Gruener added 15 points, Lindsay Robson chipped another 12 points, Bristy Skiles made 26 assists, Jones had 16 digs and eight kills, while Patterson added 13 points and four aces.

Cloverdale head coach Kathy Moore said that the score was misleading for the level of competition.

"Give South Putnam credit for attacking the ball, tipping and doing a good job of serving. We made some passing and hitting mistakes, but that's how the game goes," Moore said.

"They call it rally scoring. It can go one way or another and it can go five, six, seven points in a row for or against you."

Moore said that even during the stretch in the second set where they could have let themselves down, the squad didn't stop playing.

"It's something the girls have done all season and it's always a worry. But I have confidence in these young women and they came through," Moore said.

"I really believe this is a special year for us. They have the kind of character to where they don't quit, and I think that's their biggest asset."

South Putnam head coach Renata Hendrickson said her squad made Cloverdale fight for their win.

"Cloverdale's a great team, obviously," she said. "They've won the conference and county. Their record shows it, but our girls came out, played hard and didn't give them anything," Hendrickson said.

"They made them work for what they got. Cloverdale did win, but the girls played very hard."

Hendrickson said they could have settled for a quick defeat, but made plays in key situations.

"They did a good job of coming from behind tonight in the second set. We had a lot of clutch serves in those moments," Hendrickson said.

"The girls kept their heads up and fought the whole time. They didn't let themselves down."

Hendrickson added that against Tri-West, "If they play against them like they did tonight, I have no problems. They played well tonight and I hope they play like this tomorrow night and come out on top."

Moore said that the win capped a series of goals for the Clovers, but that there was much more still waiting for the squad.

"It was a very nice night for us. We have a few more goals that we have in mind. We get a little bit of rest after defeating Rockville last night," Moore said.

"We play Eminence next week on Wednesday, which is a rescheduled game and then Thursday we travel to Tri-West, which is real tough competition."

"After that we head to the Cascade tournament. This season is winding down very quickly," Moore added.

"It was a goal for us to win the Putnam County title and the WCC title.

"We're having a very nice and wonderful season. We're all enjoying this."

At South Putnam

Cloverdale 25 26 25

South Putnam 12 24 13

Next match -- South Putnam travels to Tri-West Wednesday and Cloverdale travels to Eminence next Wednesday.