Lady Lions keys: ‘depth, chemistry’

Gracie Campbell of Concord Christian School serves during the Lady Lions’ first round Division II-A East Regional match versus Silverdale Baptist Academy of Chattanooga at CCS Saturday afternoon, Oct. 6.
While the players talked about special chemistry among the 2018 Concord Christian School Lady Lions volleyball team, head coach Carmen Hochevar focused on depth.

“We played well, even when Annabelle was taken out,” Hochevar said about outside hitter Gracie Campbell, who filled in effectively off the bench when freshman Annabelle Sulish suffered a cut chin. This test of depth came during a do-or-die TSSAA Division II-A East Region playoff game versus Silverdale Baptist Academy of Chattanooga at CCS Saturday afternoon, Oct. 6.

“I called upon our bench and they played very well. We’re a well-oiled machine. Without all the pieces it wouldn’t work.”

Despite the 25-18, 25-17, 25-14 Lady Lions victory, “it took us a while to settle in,” Hochevar said. “We’re not a team that plays well keyed up. We’re better calm and collected.”

Senior Sidney Sherrill, star outside hitter and a team leader, said 2018 “is our best season yet. We have a really young team, but really good chemistry.” Other key contributors Saturday were setter Emma Meyer, Elizabeth Dawson, Karson Brock, Sierra Spalding, Alie Tucker, Mikayla Profeta and Sydney Peterson.

While finishing as East division regular season, tournament and region runner-ups, Concord Christian’s record was 32-10 heading into sectional play this week (after press deadline).

Comparing this team versus the 2017 Lady Lions, when she was an eighth-grade contributor, Sulish said, “This team is more like a family. There’s less stress. We’re all calm with each other.”