All of the matches were close between the intense rivals, with Cleveland holding the upper hand at the end of the night with two victories to a single win by Ocoee Middle.
Perhaps the most exciting match of the evening was a three-game upset by Cleveland over the Lady Colts’ sixth-grade team. The Lady Raiders pulled out a 14-25, 25-17, 15-12 victory to hand Ocoee’s youngest team its first loss in 11 matches.
Ocoee Middle School’s powerful seventh-grade team ran its record to 18-1 with a convincing 25-16, 25-19 win over the Lady Raiders. Ocoee Middle dropped only a single match this season to district foe Hunter Middle School in tournament play.
The eighth-grade nightcap was a close, competitive match, although Cleveland managed to pull out a two-game decision.
Cleveland’s eighth-grade girls dominated the first game, 25-13, but had its hands full the second game. The Lady Raiders jumped ahead at 11-5 in the second game, but Ocoee rallied with 14 of the next 15 points for a 19-12 lead.
Cleveland then staged a rally of its own, catching up at 22-22, and going on to a 25-23 match-winning decision.
Cleveland High School coach Trish Flowers helps coach Brandi Ownby with the middle school teams, which has compiled a winning record this year at all grade levels.
Cleveland Middle’s sixth-grade team finished the regular season with a 12-1 record, the seventh-grade team was 9-3 and the eighth graders 8-3.
Walker Valley coach Judy Pruett coaches the Ocoee Middle eighth grade, while Tina Moore has the sixth-grade team and Aubrey Reagan the once-beaten seventh-grade team.
Coach Pruett is very pleased with Ocoee Middle’s overall record during the season.
The eighth-grade team is ranked in first place in the SETAC going into tournament play this week.
In last week’s next-to-last match, Ocoee Middle’s sixth-grade team defeated Lake Forest, 25-19 and 25-11, with Makayla Lewis getting nine service points and Danie Sowder eight. The seventh-grade team won, 25-7 and 25-10, with Sara Wilson and Alexis Crittenden topping the service points. The eighth-grade team won a close 25-19, 22-25, 15-6 match behind the serving of MacKenzie Elrod and Nikki Prugh.