RUSSELL On a Thursday night when Russell senior Sadie Hill recorded her 2,000th career assist, it was her excellent work from the service line that led the Russell Red Devils to a 3-1 (25-10, 26-28, 25-15, 25-10) win over East Carter.
The play of Hill in the win and also over her Red Devil career was not overlooked by coach Kacie Christian-Mullins.
“Sadie is a great kid that deserves all of the credit," Christian-Mullins said. "We play a 6-2 offense, which means we use two setters. For her to have 2,000 assists is just amazing. We are very proud of what she has accomplished in her career for our program.”
Hill’s service prowess got the Red Devils off to a 7-1 lead in game one of the match. Fellow senior Christin Corey supplied the power with four kills as Russell cruised to a 25-10 win in the first game.
East Carter (4-3) fought back in the second game of the match as Zoe Stidham had three kills, including the game-winner to knot the match at a game apiece.
Raiders coach Jennifer Clark was pleased with the play of Stidham.
"Zoe gets better and better each day," Clark said. "She is such a good player and she does everything we ask her to do. It definitely showed tonight against a quality opponent.”
Christian-Mullins lamented the Red Devils' penchant for letting the opponent get back into the match.
"East Carter made it tough on us in the second game," she said. "Once we lose a few points, it's hard to get that energy back. They dig themselves holes and have to come back, which I think they actually enjoy doing at this point.”
The Red Devils jumped out to early leads in the final two games to secure their fifth win against no losses on the season. Hill continued her all-around play in all areas of the game. Junior Torie Hester ended the match with her third kill of the contest.
The play of Corey brought a smile to Christian-Mullins's face.
"Christin has really been working on putting the ball down and not just hitting it," Russell's coach said. "Anyone can just hit it, but as hard as she can hit, if she finds the holes she is going to be very successful this season.”
Despite the loss, Clark was pleased with the play of her Raiders.
"It is hard to get in a rhythm so far this season," Clark said. "I think we have been off for a total of four weeks due to COVID-19. We have a young team and we are still trying to find where all the pieces fit together. I think we played really well against a very good team tonight.”
The Red Devils now set their sights on the Rocky Top Classic in Sevierville, Tennessee this weekend. Christian-Mullins feels her team is excited for the challenge.
"We really wanted to go see some tough competition," she said. "There are schools from Texas, Tennessee, Indiana. We may lose some, but sometimes it is good to be humbled. The girls are excited for the trip and it will make us better as a team."