Poplarville volleyball racking up the wins

Published 3:02 pm Thursday, September 5, 2019

The team may be in its first season of existence, but Poplarville High School’s volleyball squad hit the ground running.

The team is now 4-1 with three of those four wins occurring while on the road.

On Aug. 3, the Hornets went up against North Forrest, and emerged victorious claiming three of the four sets.

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The team got off to a fast start and won the first set 25-10. The second set was a much closer affair, with the score being 25-20 in the Hornets’ favor.

However, the momentum shifted and North Forrest was on the attack.

North Forrest won the third set 27-25 before the Hornets took the fourth set to close out the game with a score of 25-20.

Head Coach Jonathan Ray said that the intensity from the athletes in the first set was good, but the players let their guard down heading into the next set.

“We served really well, and played with energy in the first set,” Ray said. “In the second set we got complacent.”

However, Ray’s team was able to bounce back, and overcome the adversity. Ray said that as the team progresses throughout the season, the athletes have become better at handling pressure.

“When North Forrest started playing better and challenging us, we were able to step up our game and secure the victory,” Ray said.

“(The players) handled it well, and they learned some lessons.”

Ray said the players now know that when they have a lead the intensity needs to stay the same if they want to win the game.

Like all team sports, it took a collective effort for the Hornets to pull out the victory, but there were also a couple of players who performed well away from home.

Senior Harley Blanchard had a key role in setting the ball for the team’s hitters.

With the match against North Forrest behind them, Ray and his players are focusing on the next challenge.

The team will have almost a week of practice before the next game, and that time is going to be spent improving on the team’s offense.

“We need to clean some stuff up and get better with our offense,” Ray said.

“It’s just such a technical game and the little things are so important because they make such a difference.”

The Hornets’ next opponent is Picayune Memorial High School’s Maroon Tide, and Ray said the upcoming game would be a good test of his team’s ability to have a well-rounded game.

“Right now we’re working towards playing a complete match,” Ray said.

“Not having the mental lapses, or losing focus.” The game will be at home at Poplarville High School August 10, and the varsity game will start at 6:30.