Picayune volleyball falls to Stone in close game

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2019

The back and forth game between the Maroon Tide and Tomcats didn’t end the way the Tide wanted. The squad was able to keep the game close in every set.

Stone won the first two sets with scores of 25-21 and 25-20 before the Maroon Tide won the third set 25-16.

The fourth set was a close affair, but Stone was able to pull it out and win 25-20 to win the game.

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Picayune is in a bit of a rut right now, so the squad is trying to get back on track after a positive start to the season. Head Coach Courtney Dickens said that while the team didn’t play poorly, there were some issues that cost the Maroon Tide the win.

“I think our attitude last night kind of lost the game for us,” Dickens said. “Other teams are going to feed off of body language, and I know they’re getting to the point now where they’re tired of losing and they’re getting frustrated.”

Dickens said that frustration also stems from the inability to win close games. The Maroon Tide has had some tight games, but hasn’t found a way to pull out the win in those situations.

“I just feel like we have to figure out a way to finish it off,” Dickens said.

The team traded points with Stone all night, and senior Kyla Harris took it upon herself to try and improve the squad’s morale during sets.

“She is a team leader, her and Kyra Hawthorne,” Dickens said. “They’re encouraging even if the game isn’t going their way.”

Dickens said Kyla’s ability to maintain her composure during tough games has benefitted the team.

Freshman Makenna Williams may have not had her best performance against Stone, but Dickens said that her talent level would just keep increasing with each season. “We’ve moved her to multiple positions, and she’s done well everywhere,” Dickens said. “What impresses me about her is that even as a younger player, she doesn’t seem to be intimidated at all by the older girls, and she’s very vocal.”

The team will only have two practices before their next game against Purvis, who they’ve beaten previously.

During the practice sessions, Dickens said she was planning to focus more on the individual than team drills.

“I failed in that. I tried to get them to do everything, and really we need to focus more on position work,” Dickens said.

That means splitting her team into groups.

That will involve putting the hitters together, the setters together, the passers together and then have each group work on a drill specific to that position. Dickens hopes she can rectify some of the mistakes the athletes have been making, and get the players more comfortable in their positions.

Ultimately, Dickens wants to make sure everybody understands their role.

Having that understanding will be important when the squad faces off against a tough Purvis team on Sept. 9 at Picayune Memorial High School. The game will start at 6:30. “I think we’re longing for a win,” Dickens said.