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Cougars Douse Fire In Three Straight Sets

In front of a packed home gym, CCC took care of the Fire tonight in three straight sets. Since the Lady Cougars and SEU had already met two other times this season with a split decision, tonight's contest set the stage for an exciting deciding match.

The Southeastern volleyball team came to the Cougar den with a winning record of 17-8 (7-2 in the NAIA Sun Conference) and discovered the CCC team was up for the challenge. The last time the two teams met in Lakeland, the Fire defeated Clearwater 3-1, but tonight the home team showed its dominance by taking the Fire in three straight sets.

The Cougars displayed tenacious defense as they battled up against the much stronger and taller Fire team. During set one Amanda Bucklin went on a serving streak serving up six straight points helping the Cougars establish a presence early with a 25-16 victory. During set two, Emma Kile went on a hitting exhibition, often against double blocks, leading the team with 8 kills while Richelle Bucklin stopped the offensive attack of the Fire at the net with three blocks, helping the Cougars take set two, 25-15.

Being an explosive offensive team, Southeastern did not give up, forcing a very exciting game three in front of the CCC home crowd. Behind the solid play of seniors Casey Jenson and Heather Johnson, the Fire was game point from forcing a fourth set. The score was 20-24 in favor of SEU, when Georganna Little stepped up to serve four straight points behind the solid play of the Cougars to tie the score 24-24. The next few points went back and forth until the Cougars finally put the Fire out at 28-26 to win the match.

Leading the way for the home team was Emma Kile, who recorded another double/double with 16 kills and 11 digs. Senior setter Liz Ennis again led the offensive attack with over 10 assists per set along with her defensive addition of 12 digs and 4 blocks for the match.

According to Coach Denny "tough serving and tough defense kept us in the match throughout the night. We shut down their big guns numerous times frustrating the offensive attack. I am so proud how our team displayed character and teamwork in this solid victory over a very strong NAIA program. After losing to them last month at their place, tonight's victory is even sweeter."

The Cougars are now 32-6 as they travel over to the competitive Hillsbourgh Community College Tournament on Friday. Match times are at 2:00 and 4:30 p.m.