By Erik Harris
PINSON – There was no time for a tune-up game. Both Clay-Chalkville and Pinson Valley awoke from a long offseason, rolled out of bed and dug straight into Class 6A, Area 12 play.
The Cougars (1-0) had no problem handling the early start, as they swept their hosts three games to none in Mike Dutton Gymnasium. The defending Jefferson County champions beat Pinson Valley (0-1) 25-13, 25-7 and 25-8 to claim the best-of-five series on Thursday night.
“It’s refreshing to see where we are and the minor changes we need to make and improve on, but it’s definitely good for them going into the Briarwood tournament on Saturday,” said second-year Clay-Chalkville head coach Natasha Brown.
Brown’s girls executed on the offensive and defensive side of the net. Defensively, the visitors totaled three blocks, two of which came courtesy of La’Cherrie Harris, and 40 digs, including Raven Omar’s 19.
Offensively, the Cougars were upstarted by a pair of seniors. Kardasia Hitchcock broke out for a ten-kill performance to go along with Jaszia Bowie’s ten aces. Clay-Chalkville totaled 34 kills and 27 aces against the Indians.
Bowie did her best work early in Game 2, delivering four straight aces and setting the pace for the Cougars to construct an 8-0 run.
“She’s a very aggressive server who’s been with me since she was a ninth grader,” Brown said of Bowie. “I’m expecting big things from her.”
Game 2 started with a strong Clay-Chalkville serve and ended the same way, as Lexie Payne dropped an ace to finalize the score at 25-7.
The Cougars will be back in action this weekend at Briarwood Christian’s Serve Off Tournament. Pinson Valley is scheduled to visit McAdory next Monday.