By R. Alan Richardson
It was a tough night for our volleyball squad as they lost in straight sets to the Lady Eagles 26-24 and 25-16 in a single match. The first match counted toward region standings and play while the second match did not count and was somewhat of a scrimmage for both teams. The Lady Dogs did win the second match 2-0, but it didn’t help the team in region play.
Morgan got on the scoreboard first by a spike from junior Aris Hubbard, but it was back and forth at 4-3 in the first set when the Dogs went on a big run behind the serve of Taylor Adams. Carley Henry started the rally with a big hit of her own followed by Adams’ unreturnable serve. Henry slammed another spike that helped the team to a 10-4 advantage on a six point service game. East Jackson fought back to stay within distance while Morgan continued with good solid play from Henry, Hubbard, Mary Zimmerman, and the serve of Gracie Burge.
With the score at 14-9 Morgan, the Eagles rolled off six straight points to take a 15-14 lead. Our girls tied it up with a big hit from Zimmerman and the lead went back and forth for the remainder of the set. With the Lady Dogs leading 24-23, East Jackson took three straight points to win it 26-24 in what was some great play by both teams.
The Lady Dogs started out strong in the second set. Burge got things going with two great serves to take the 2-0 lead. Zimmerman then hit a hammer that had people getting out of the way to take a 5-2 advantage. Again, the Lady Eagles fought back scoring on nine out of ten of the next points to go up 11-6. This was a set of runs by both teams. Morgan answered behind the serve of Madison Gasque to trail by one at 11-10. East Jackson then ran off three straight, but Morgan tied it up 14-14 with Henry on the serve. That was as close as the girls would come. The visitors then reeled off 12 of the last 13 points, including ten straight for the 25-16 win to end the game.
Coach Greg Thompson commented on the loss saying, “I’m very disappointed in the way we played tonight in the first match that counted towards region play. I thought we got off to a good start but midway through the first set we just couldn’t do anything right. We were able to bounce back and tie it up late, but just couldn’t make the plays we needed to make the finish. The second set was very similar to the first. We made too many mistakes and made them look a lot better than they really are. We showed how we can play in the second match winning 2-0, but unfortunately that match didn’t count towards our region schedule. We will have another shot at them later in the season and I am certainly hoping for a better result. We have to show up every night and be a more consistent team that beats the teams we should beat.”