The SMHS Lady Panthers senior volleyball players were recognized prior to the start of the varsity game with Knox Catholic last Thursday afternoon. From left are Caitlin Sanders, Tiffany Norris, Kelsie Taylor, Chelsea Nelson, Talisha Sherrill, Ashley Bilbrey and Kelsie Reed.

The Stone Memorial Lady Panthers volleyball team celebrated senior night last Thursday against Knox Catholic.

Being honored were seven seniors that have been in the volleyball program in Cumberland County for the last four years. All seven ladies started their careers at CCHS where they played their freshman and sophomore years. They all have played their junior and senior years as Lady Panthers. The seven seniors, Ashley Bilbrey, Kelsey Reed, Kelsey Taylor, Chelsea Nelson, Talisha Sherrill, Tiffany Norris and Caitlyn Sanders, were showered by gifts and flowers by the coaches, junior classmen, and their parents.

Two of the seven seniors, Ashley Bilbrey and Kelsey Reed, were bookkeepers/managers for the panthers. Three of the seven seniors are starters for the Lady Panthers, one of which is the captain, Caitlin Sanders.

"The match of the night and quite possibly the history of the school was with Knoxville Catholic. Catholic has a long tradition in volleyball throughout the state. Catholic is always one of the best five teams in the state in AA. Coach Mike Jones, District 3AA coach of the year, knows how to produce top ranked teams," said SMHS Coach Randy Alley.

Catholic started the match winning the first game 25 to 15. They also won the second game 25 to 16. It was looking pretty bad for the Lady Panthers when suddenly they came alive to beat Catholic 25-15.

The Lady Panthers went on to win the fourth game by a score of 25 to 21 which led to the fifth and final game to 15. Cathloic won the last game by a score of 15 to 12, winning the last home match of the season at SMHS.

The Panthers were lead by Tiffany Norris, with one ace, two digs, six assists and 14 kills. Caitlin Sanders had two aces, two digs, 28 assists, one block and four kills. Mary K. Kreuger had a very good match with one ace, five blocks and 10 kills. Brittany Eller tallied one ace, two digs and 13 kills.

The Lady Panthers moved to 22-7 overall, finishing third in the district. The Lady Panthers were action over the weekend at Murfreesboro in the Middle Tennessee Classic where they played Wilson Central, Independence and Riverdale. The district tournament will be held at Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK), Thursday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

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