Picayune volleyball loses close game to Greene County

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The gym was packed for the Maroon Tide’s Alzheimer’s awareness game against the Greene County Wildcats.

The game ended up going into five sets, and Head Coach Courtney Dickens said the Maroon Tide could’ve closed it out if they fixed some key issues the players were having.

The first set ended with Greene County on top 25-16.

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The Maroon Tide came back and won the second set 25-17 before the Wildcats won the third set with the score of 25-21.

Picayune won the fourth set 25-21, but were unable to pull out the victory losing the last set 15-10.

“Our passing wasn’t great the first set, and that throws the setters off. We didn’t get many hits in last night, and that’s what helped us the first time we played them,” Dickens said.

Offensively the team struggled at times, but Dickens said the team’s serving and defensive performance were positives for the Maroon Tide.

The length of the game meant the players were fatigued heading into the later sets.

Dickens said her players started feeling the effects of the long game, which affected their performances.

“They don’t really get out of shape, but when you go five sets it’s hard. They were tired, but I thought they played hard,” Dickens said.

Usually effort isn’t an issue for Picayune, but Dickens said she had to give a pep talk after the lackluster first set to get the team’s energy up.

“I didn’t think they were playing well, or giving me the effort that needed to be there, but after that they perked up,” Dickens said.

The noisy gym was a double-edged sword for the Maroon Tide.

The crowd galvanized the players, but also made communication on the court difficult.

“As a setter you have to communicate. They’ve been playing with each other a good bit now, and there were some balls that hit the floor that the setters usually get to,” Dickens said.

Dickens said senior Sarah Stockstill shined against the Wildcats with her serving and defense.

“She’s been working really hard, she’s very competitive and she wants to do well in everything she does. She wants to be the best,” Dickens said.

The team’s next game will have some added weight with it being a contest against district foe Hattiesburg.

Picayune took the Tigers to four sets the last time the two teams played each other.

Dickens said the first two sets against Hattiesburg weren’t great, but the final two sets were very competitive.

The team will be hoping to improve upon its performance when the Tigers come to town Sept. 24.

It will be the second game of a back to back for the Maroon Tide. Fatigue can set in with these types of games, but Dickens said the athletes would be prepared for the Tigers.

Coming off a heartbreaking loss, the Maroon Tide will look to get things back on track, and Dickens said losing would actually benefit the team in the long run.

“You learn by playing in games, that’s where you get experience, and you learn more from a loss than a win,” Dickens said. Dickens said the team would have a walkthrough to go over some plans before the Tigers arrive, and the game will start at 6:30 p.m.