It was an almost perfect day for Daily Corinthian coverage area high school volleyball teams working their way thru the playoffs Saturday.
Four teams began the day with hopes of winning and advancing to the North Half championships in their respective classifications. When the day was done three remained standing.
Corinth, Alcorn Central and Walnut defeated their 2nd round opponents while Biggersville finished their finest season by falling to traditionally strong Hickory Flat at home.
Now it’s on to the round three, otherwise known as the North Half title matches.
The 4A Lady Warriors will travel to Pontotoc while the Lady Bears will make the short trip southeast to face division foe, and champion Belmont. As for the Lady Wildcats they will be at Mantachie.
All matches begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Corinth won the first two sets (25-15 and 25-23) against the Lady Confederates, who put the Lady Warriors out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago, but lost sets three and four (20-25 and 10-25). However, they redeemed themselves by taking the tiebreaker set 15-12 to begin the celebration.
“It was definitely a big day for us and we look forward to playing for the North Half title,” said first year CHS head coach Emma Heubi, who’s squad has found itself and established their own identity after losing seven experienced and successful seniors off of last year’s team.
Central had very little trouble with the Lady Blue Devils, winning in straight sets (25-10, 25-9 and 25-14) at home. In fact, AC joins Walnut as the only two DC area teams still alive to not drop a set in the playoffs so far.
The victory moves the 3A Lady Bears to 16-7 and sets them up for a classic rematch with the Lady Cardinals, who wrestled the Division 1-3A title away from Central for the first time in six years. “We hope our familiarity with them (Belmont) plays to our advantage,” said AC head coach Eric Lancaster. “Our girls showed a lot of emotion out there today and they know what’s at stake come Tuesday.”
Walnut head coach Kelly Hopper, who’s 2A team won in straight sets at East Webster (25-11, 25-21, 25-15), is uncertain of her squad’s record but that’s secondary to her at this point as the Lady ‘Cats hope to make their first appearance in the state championship round with one more win.
“It’s been a rough year for us with injuries and COVID affecting us,” said Hopper. “But the girls keep fighting and never quit. They are a gritty bunch that works extremely hard and it shows on the court.”
Biggersville found themselves on the short end of a straight set defeat to the Lady Rebels (15-25, 18-25 and 10-25) but first year head coach Brandon Nash had nothing but praise and admiration for his young team.
The 1A Lady Lions, who finished at 13-6, lose only one senior and have a young, talented nucleus returning in 2021.
“It was a very good year for us,” said Nash. “And the thing is we did it all without really getting fancy. We kept our offense and defense pretty cut and dried..kind of vanilla. Now next year we can begin to open things up more and expand on our playbook.”