Regular season winds down for volleyball

The regular season is now in the rearview mirror for the Clinton High School volleyball team.

The Lady Dragons closed out the campaign with a home match Monday night when they played Jellico with a 2-0 set win.

They honored their three seniors, Jordyn Majors, Lillia Shultz and Kierra Washington.

That trio made significant contributions as Clinton finished third in District 3-AAA with an 8-6 league record.

The Lady Dragons, who entered Monday night’s match with an 11-12 overall mark, open district tournament play today (Wednesday) at West High against a tournament which has yet to be determined.

Tournament play began Monday at West High, in Knoxville and at Oak Ridge. The Lady Dragons will play the loser of Monday’s Knoxville Central-Halls match at 6 p.m. tonight.

The Lady Dragons split a pair of matches with the Lady Bobcats, losing in Fountain City and winning at home. Clinton swept the Lady Devils in 2021.

Clinton will play a quarterfinal match Wednesday. If the Lady Dragons win, they’ll play in the semifinals later Wednesday.

CHS first-year head coach said that she’s pleased with her team’s progress this season.

“If we win Monday, we’ll have an overall of 12-12 and we finished third in the district,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we can beat Jellico. We will honor our three seniors, Jordyn, Lillia and Kierra. They’ve all made contributions for us this season.”

Looking forward to the District 3-AAA Tournament, Clinton avoided the first round by virtue of its third-place regular season finish.

Oak Ridge is the tournament’s top seed and the Lady Rebels are No. 2 thanks to their runner-up finish in the regular season.

Both the Lady Wildcats and West High have made the Region 2-AAA tournament the last three seasons when both were in District 4-AAA and Johnson said those will likely be the teams to beat as the top two teams in the district will play in next week’s Region 2-AAA Tournament.

“Oak Ridge and West are definitely the class of the district,” Johnson said. “They’re the top two teams.”

As for the 2021 regular season, the Lady Dragons made great strides.

“I’m pleased with our progress,” Johnson said. “We’re a young team and we competed.

“Did we have some matches that we could’ve won, that we lost? Yes, but I’m pleased with our progress. We were extremely blessed.”

The Lady Dragons avoided any significant COVID-19 issues. Other teams in the district weren’t so lucky.

“Powell finished 0-14 (in the district),” Johnson said. “And I think COVID hit them pretty hard, harder than some other teams.

“Campbell County was hit too. Their coach was in the hospital with COVID.”