Poplarville volleyball dominates Perry Central

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, September 5, 2019

Poplarville High School’s volleyball team went on the road to Perry Central and came back home with another win.

The Hornets won the first three sets, commanding the second and third sets.

The team took a little bit of time to warm up, and Head Coach Jonathan Ray said that’s what contributed to the close first set that ended with a final score of 25-21.

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However, in the following sets the Hornets were in control with set victories of 25-9 and 25-7.

Ray has said before that his team’s strength is serving the ball.

Abby Jordan and Hannah Blanchard were deadly with their serves, and Ray said both players were close to double digits in aces.

“That’s the strength of our team and when we don’t do that we’re in trouble,” Ray said.

The game against Perry Central was the team’s third away game in the first six games of the season.

Ray said that his players are still learning how to travel.

“Road games are less about the environment and more about learning how to travel for an hour,” Ray said.

“Then you have to get off the bus, and try to get the energy and intensity needed to play.”

The team’s convincing performance means that the hours in practice are paying off, but Ray said his athletes still have room to improve when it comes to the fundamentals.

“We have to continue to get better at basics like better passing and transitioning from offense to defense,” Ray said. “It’s all about that process, and learning how to play the game.”

This is the program’s inaugural season, so Ray and his players expected some growing pains.

However, Ray said that the team has progressed very quickly during these first couple of weeks of the season.

That improvement has led to expectations shifting, and Ray said he’s even received positive feedback from opposing coaches.

“I think it’s better than expected, just the fact that we’re able to win games this year,” Ray said.

“I’ve had coaches come up to me and say ‘Y’all look a lot better than we did in year one.’ Which helps you gain perspective as a coach.”

Ray said it’s also reassuring because sometimes the bigger picture can get lost when he focuses on the details of each game.

“You start second guessing things, but then realize there are still things we’re learning,” Ray said.

“I like where we are, and the girls are doing everything I ask of them.” The team traveled to North Forrest for their game on Tuesday.