The East Hall Lady Vikings improved to 4-5 in Area 8-AA/A North play with wins over Jackson County (2-1) and East Jackson (2-1) Monday in Jefferson.
In the first match against Jackson County (5-13, 3-5), the Lady Panthers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and never trailed in Game 1, winning 25-11. East Hall (8-22, 4-5) would fight back however, battling in the next two games with the Panthers for 27-25 and 25-21 wins.
Tarryn Long had nine kills in the match while Brittney Cambell led in assists with 11.
Jasmine Williams led in kills for the Lady Panthers with six and senior Samantha Kennett had eight aces in the first match on her team’s senior night.
In their second match of the night, the Lady Vikings got off to a quicker start than they did against Jackson County, jumping out to a 12-6 lead on East Jackson (10-18, 3-6) to pull away with the 25-20 win in the first game. The Lady Eagles would respond, taking Game 2 25-11.
The deciding game was one of the best on the night, as both teams went back and forth with lead changes.
Despite making several misreads and errors, East Hall got the narrow 26-24 win to take the match.
“Well, we won so that’s what’s most important,” Lady Vikings coach Todd Deppe said. “We’re young and we make a lot of mistakes and we played two decent teams so I’m happy that we came away with wins but we still have a long way to go.”
Despite the Lady Vikings having five seniors on the roster, not one player has played varsity volleyball before this year.
“Quite honestly, in years past, our team would have given up in games like the ones we had tonight,” said Deppe, “so to see them fight back says something about these girls.”
In the final match of the night, East Jackson would defeat Jackson County 2-1. The Panthers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in game one and cruised to a 25-12 win. East Jackson would respond in in the second game, jumping out to its own 5-0 lead. The Lady Panthers would battle back but the lead the Lady Eagles built was too large to overcome in a 25-21 loss. East Jackson would take the final game and the match with a 26-24 win.
“The main thing about tonight was that we relied on our serve too much,” Jackson County coach Crystal Holley said. “We scored too many points off of serving but not enough off defense and we couldn’t transition on defense when the other team had good hitters.”
Rachel Smith had five kills for the Lady Panthers in the match, while Kennett led the team in assists with eight.