Poplarville dominates Forrest County in win

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Poplarville Lady Hornets took on the Forrest County Lady Aggies Monday night and didn’t drop a single set, winning 25-4, 25-20, 25-15.

The result was another important district win for the Lady Hornets, moving the team to 2-1 in district play this year.

Poplarville is locked in a five-team race for a playoff spot with Greene County, Purvis, Forrest County and Stone County for one of the two postseason positions.

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Head Coach Robin Jeffries said her team’s setters are getting to the point where they’re executing the offense to her liking, a boon for the Lady Hornets in their bid to make the playoffs.

Janna Peterson and Jaycee Bridgers facilitate opportunities and run the offense for Jeffries on the court.

The progress has been noticeable, but Jeffries is hoping to see more out of her athletes as district play continues.

“Jaycee and Janna are really close (to reaching their full potential) and that’s good for us because that’s how we can split them up in each match to not tire them out through all three sets,” Jeffries said.

The stakes are higher now that each game impacts playoff positioning, even though there are still plenty of matches left in the season.

Jeffries said her players are competitive and want to come out with a victory, but sometimes their performance doesn’t back their ambition.

“I know they want to win the game they just have to learn to do what they say. They have to learn how to put their words into actions because I know they really do want to win. They just have to show that on court,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said an area that could use some improvement was defensive positioning and communication.

The players need to be able to understand what an opponent’s tendencies are, and then counter those.

Situational positioning and understanding how to play off an opponent’s strengths will be key if the Lady Hornets want to make it to the playoffs.

“We’re still lacking in communication. We’re not talking enough to each other and our positioning on the court is not up to par to be able to advance past district,” Jeffries said.

Poplarville plays district foe Stone County Tuesday evening before having a week off to prepare for a Sept. 29 matchup against Forrest County.

If the Lady Hornets were able to win both games they’d move to 4-1 in district play and have a good position heading into the final district games of the season.

However, to earn those wins, the players will have to communicate on the court.

“They need to use these games to learn and talk to each other because the only person that can make them do it is themselves. I can say it all day long and people in the stands can say it all day long, but until they actually do it (nothing changes),” Jeffries said.