PREP VOLLEYBALL: Cullman sweeps tri-match with Haleyville, Hatton

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Cullman's Gracie Barksdale goes up for a kill during the Lady Bearcats' 2-0 sweep of Haleyville Monday night. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. — Cullman took on Haleyville and Hatton in a pair of non-area matches at home Monday and was able to build some momentum going into some key area contests after sweeping both the Lady Lions and the Lady Hornets 2-0. 

Cullman 2 – Haleyville 0 (First Match)

The first set between Haleyville and Cullman went back-and-forth early on. There were four ties as each team didn’t have a lead bigger than two. The score was tied at seven when the Lady Bearcats broke that tie with back-to-back kills by Haley Shannon and Gracie Barksdale. Another kill by Shannon stretched the Cullman lead to 11-7. The Lady Lions kept the deficit at four at 15-11, but the Lady Bearcats reeled off five straight points behind a pair of aces by Kaina Thomas. Cullman kept Haleyville at arm’s length the rest of the way as the Lady Bearcats picked up a 25-14 win in the first set.

Thomas finished with three points and a kill for Cullman. Barksdale added a pair of points and a pair of kills. Shannon ended up with three kills while Ava Ray picked up a pair of kills.

Game two saw Cullman jump out to a 3-1 lead behind a kill by Barksdale and a point by Thomas. Just like in the first set, both teams went back-and-forth early on. The Lady Bearcats broke a 5-5 tie with 11 straight points as four different players got points during the run. The 11-0 run was the difference in the second set as Cullman rolled to a 25-12 win over the Lady Lions and picked up a 2-0 sweep of Haleyville.

Barksdale and Thomas each finished with three kills and a point for the Lady Bearcats. Payton Smith added a pair of aces. Ray ended up with a pair of points. Jesse Godbee finished with a point while Anna Beth Mauldin ended up with a dig.

Cullman 2 – Hatton 0 (Second Match)

It was a battle in the first set between Cullman and Hatton. The Lady Bearcats held a 6-3 lead after getting three straight points and later made it 8-4 on back-to-back kills by Thomas. But the Lady Hornets quickly made it a one-point game. Every time it looked like Cullman would go on that huge run, Hatton came back with a run of their own. The Lady Bearcats held a 22-15 lead late in the contest, but four straight points by the Lady Hornets made it 22-19. But that’s as close as they would get the rest of the way as Cullman picked up a huge 25-20 win in in the opening set.

Barksdale finished with three kills, two points, and an ace for the Lady Bearcats. Thomas added a trio of kills as well, along with a block point. Shannon ended up with a kill and a block point, while Mauldin added a dig.

Game two saw Cullman quickly fall behind 3-1, but behind a kill each by Barksdale and Thomas, the Lady Bearcats reeled off six in a row to grab a 7-3 lead. Cullman later stretched it to 14-7 on another Barksdale kill, but Hatton scored four of the next six points to make it 16-11. The Lady Bearcats got huge points from Thomas and Ray to increase their lead to 19-11 and that ended up being the difference as Cullman went on a 9-2 run the rest of the way to pick up a 25-13 win over the Lady Hornets and finished off their second sweep of the evening.

Barksdale had another big match for the Lady Bearcats, finishing with three kills and two points. Thomas added a pair of kills and a pair of points. Ray ended up with a pair of points and a kill. Natalie Freeman chipped in with a pair of points as well, while Smith added an ace.

Cullman improves to 28-16 on the season with the wins and the Lady Bearcats have a huge area match coming up Tuesday when they host Muscle Shoals.

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