Maroon Tide volleyball keeps the wins coming

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Picayune Memorial High School volleyball squad has already bested the win total from last season, and the team is only four games into the season.

The program is now in its second year, and Head Coach Courtney Dickens says the team is going up against some tough competition.

The players have been able to handle it so far with a victory over Purvis on Aug. 19.

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It was an away game for the Maroon Tide, and Dickens said the environment was incredible.

“They had a good crowd that was very into the game,” Dickens said.

“I really think that threw communication off during the first set because the girls couldn’t hear anything.”

That hostile crowd made it hard for the players to talk to each other, and the squad lost the first set.

However, the athletes overcame the tough environment, and first set loss, to come back and win three sets in a row and end the game victorious.

The players are more experienced now having a full season of playtime to use and learn from.

That maturity has led to the team being able to overcome obstacles thrown their way, and Dickens said winning in an environment like Purvis was telling.

“The girls were super excited to get that win,” Dickens said.

“To go to a place where the crowd is like that, and pull a win out, it says a lot, I think that really boosts their confidence.”

The team doesn’t get a break though the next match took place Tuesday at Stone High School. The grind of having to play back to back games can negatively affect a team’s energy levels, but Dickens said the conditioning and age of the players means that the athletes should be good to go.

“I could tell last night that they were getting a little tired, but they found a way to work through it,” Dickens said. “Playing back to back is hard on them, but they’re young. I’m sure tonight they’ll be fine, and they can get some rest after tonight.”

Dickens said playing in a high intensity game like the one against Purvis will benefit the team physically.

Instead, the mental fortitude of the athletes is what will really be put to the test during their game against Stone.

“Winning is a good thing, that feeling after you win a game, especially a late game, I think that helps with the mental part of it,” Dickens said.

“During the game you’re not thinking about being mentally exhausted, when it’s over is when it hits you. So far they’ve done a good job of getting through that.”

The team’s mental toughness will be tested against Stone, but with the team playing as well as they have this season, the expectation is to leave another hostile environment with a win.

“I do think we need to come home with a win, I’m not expecting anything less than that and that’s what they’re expecting too,” Dickens said.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t win if we play how we know we can play, and last night can kind of help them with that.”