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Passing improvements key in CCA win

By Mike Stunson mstunson@paducahsun.com

Community Christian Academy was plagued by passing issues in its season-opening loss to Graves County on Monday. One night later, corrections with passing helped the Lady Warriors secure their first win of the year.

Hosting Paducah Tilghman on Tuesday, the Lady Warriors won in three sets (25-9, 25-17, 25-12).

CCA head coach Rhet McMullen said his team had more than 50 passing errors Monday, but that they shored them up Tuesday.

"I have always said if you can't pass, you can't play," he said. "We passed the ball much better tonight. It didn't always come right at us like it did last night, but you still have to pass it."

A 13-1 run in the first set made it easy for the Lady Warriors to run away with the set. Shannon Ecklecamp had two aces during that run, and she put the exclamation point on the game when she smacked a ball in a wide open part of the court for the set-ending kill.

It was a slow start for the Lady Warriors in the second set, as Tilghman raced out to a 10-2 lead. Alexandria Mayes had three straight aces during that opening run, and a big block from Emily Hahn helped the Blue Tornado go up eight points.

It was passing, McMullen said, that hurt his team early in that set.

"We couldn't get it over," he said. "It wasn't them hitting or blocking, it was passing. To not put the ball up for a setter, you can't do anything."

A timeout and quick talk from McMullen sparked his team, and they raced back to tie things up at 11. They were later tied at 16 before CCA reeled off eight straight points. Eliza-Kate Carter had a pair of aces during that late stretch, and once again it was Ecklecamp with the set-ending kill.

CCA went up 17-5 in the third set and looked to be in full control until a late run by Tilghman. Clare Froehlich started the spurt with a kill, followed by a pair of aces from Emily Hahn.

But down 20-11, Tilghman succumbed to another push from CCA to fall in three sets.

Ecklecamp and Millie Wade each had six kills for the Lady Warriors, with Carter leading the team in blocks (three) and aces (five). McMullen also liked what he saw out of libero Lyndsey Meadows, who was a key in the team's passing improvement.

"She would even tell you, she didn't have a good game last night," he said. "Your libero can't be off or the whole team is off because she's the main passer. She was much better tonight."

CCA (1-1) will play at St. Mary on Thursday, while Tilghman (0-2) will go for its first win of the year Monday when it hosts Crittenden County.

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