By TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
McMINNVILLE - After struggling against Class AAA Warren County and Tullahoma in recent years, Cannon County sent a message they indeed are improved in 2013 during a tri-match at Warren County in the opener.
Cannon County turned back Warren County (25-27, 27-25, 25-20) and then completed the sweep with a 23-25, 25-20, 25-23 win against Tullahoma.
Cannon County (2-0) was led by a host of players but Cheyenne Fann’s 11 point serving frenzy in the second set likely was a turning point for the Lionettes.
Cannon County dropped its District 8-AA opener against Central Magnet (23-25, 17-25, 20-25) Thursday but, clearly, the Lionettes expect to be more competitive in 2013.
“We still have several young players and only one senior (Rebekah Faulkner) but you can see hard work paying off,” Head Coach Sila Kailiponi said “The girls are working hard and it shows in their play.”
After dropping the first match to Warren County (25-27) in a tiebreaker, Cannon County picked up the pace and the aggressive play in the second set. The tables turned in Cannon County’s favor when Fann went sailing to the floor to keep the ball in play and allowing Cannon County to win the point. The Lionettes went on to win the set, 27-25.
After a stirring comeback in the second set, Cannon County secured the match by taking the third set, 25-20.
The Lionettes followed the same script in the Tullahoma match, dropping a close opening set before winning two close sets.
Emily Sissom used her ability to read the caught and caught the opposition off guard on several plays to tap the ball over the net for several scoring chances.
The Lionettes fell to 2-1 against District 8-AA foe Central Magnet. Ariana Kailiponi and Faulkner were dominant at the net with several blocks and kills. Sissom once again used her sneaky taps over the net to throw the opposition off guard.
The play of the game that will be remembered occurred when the ball hit Faulkner’s body, bouncing to Kailiponi and then richocheting into the air, creating an opportunity for Sissom to score on a kill. Cannon County ultimately won the point but could not rally for the victory.
The Lionettes also won their preseason scrimmage against Providence Christian (25-16, 25