PREP VOLLEYBALL: Cullman topples Corner on senior night 3-1

Natalie Freeman gets a point during Cullman’s 3-1 win over Corner Monday night. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. — Monday night was Senior Night at Cullman High School and the Lady Bearcats hosted Corner. After dropping the first set, Cullman came roaring back in the next three sets as they ended up winning, 3-1.

Corner 25 – Cullman 17 (1st Set)

Corner jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first set, but a kill by Natalie Freeman cut it to 3-2. Later on, Cullman tied things up at five, but the Lady Yellow Jackets scored the next seven points to break the tie and take a 12-5 lead. Corner held a 18-9 lead late in the first set, but Haley Shannon got a huge kill for her team and Freeman followed that up with an ace to make it an 18-11 game. The Lady Bearcats looked to get something going and they did as they got four straight points, including one from Payton Smith, to cut it to 20-15. They wouldn’t get any closer after that, though, as Corner ended up going on a 5-2 run to win the first set, 25-17.

Smith finished with a pair of points and a dig for Cullman. Anna Beth Mauldin added an ace, a point, and a pair of digs. Ava Ray ended up with a kill and a point, while Freeman and Shannon each added a kill.

Cullman 25 – Corner 12 (2nd Set)

A Ray point gave Cullman an early 4-2 lead in the second set, but Corner ended up tying it up at five. The Lady Bearcats ended up going on a huge run as they scored the next seven points, including a pair of aces from Reese Patterson, and a kill from Laura Katherine Granger, to give them a 12-5 lead. They padded their lead later on to 18-8 and a huge dig by Freeman led to a Ray kill as that made it 21-11. Blakley Brannon got a point and Patterson finished off the second set by getting an ace as the Lady Bearcats dominated the second set, 25-12.

Patterson finished with a trio of aces for Cullman. Ray added a kill and a pair of points. Brannon ended up with a kill and a point. Granger added a kill and Freeman chipped in with a dig.

Cullman 25 – Corner 20 (3rd Set)

The third set went back-and-forth between both teams as neither squad could build more than a two-point lead. A kill by Blakley Brannon, followed by a Granger ace, gave Cullman a 9-7 lead, but Corner would tie it up at nine in what would be one of several ties in the third set. A Lady Bearcat point gave them a 16-15 lead, but the Lady Yellow Jackets tied things up once again, this time, at 16. Cullman got three straight points, including one from Brannon, as that made it a 19-16 lead. Brannon would later follow that up with a kill and a point to keep the lead at three at 21-18. A huge kill by Ray, followed by an ace from Brannon, pushed Cullman’s lead to 24-19 and later on, Cullman collected the final point of the third set as they defeated Corner, 25-20.

Brannon led the way for Cullman with a pair of kills, two points, and an ace. Ray added a pair of kills. Mauldin and Shannon each collected a kill. Patterson and Granger each added an ace and Freeman ended up with a point.

Cullman 25 – Corner 20 (4th Set)

Cullman got off to a fast start in the fourth set as Karina Harris started things off with a point, then a big dig by Brannon would later lead to a Freeman point to make it 3-1. Brannon would pick up back-to-back aces as that increased Cullman’s lead to 5-1. A Ray kill made it 6-2, but a Corner run tied things up at six. Freeman later picked up an ace to give the Lady Bearcats a 9-6 lead. Consecutive kills from Ray and Granger pushed Cullman’s lead to 11-7 and later on, Freeman added a point to make it 14-9. The Lady Bearcats continued to add on to their lead as Harris got a point to make it 15-11. Brannon got an ace, Ray added a kill, and Freeman collected a point to help push Cullman’s lead to 20-11. The Lady Yellow Jackets made things a little interesting as they scored the next five straight points to cut it to 20-16, but a Shannon ace made it 22-16. Corner would later make it a 24-20 game, but Brannon ended things with a point as Cullman picked up a huge 25-20 win over Corner and won the series, 3-1.

Freeman finished with four points, an ace, a kill, and a dig for Cullman. Ray added four kills and a point. Brannon ended up with a trio of aces, a point, and a dig. Harris added a pair of points. Shannon ended up with an ace. Granger collected a kill and Smith collected a dig.

Cullman will travel to West Point to take on the Lady Warriors and Lawrence County in a tri-match Thursday.

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