Local teams play practice games

Published 4:22 pm Monday, July 25, 2011

Get down: Jemison’s Morgan Lucas passes the ball during a practice game Monday against Isabella at Alton Cobb Gymnasium.

There might be no better way for a volleyball team to prepare for the upcoming season than by lining up against its fiercest rival.

Isabella and Jemison did just that Monday to kick off a practice game event at JHS’s Alton Cobb Gymnasium.

Jemison took the first set from IHS but was behind in the second set, 15-11, as a third local team, Chilton County, was defeating West Blocton, 25-23, on an adjacent court.

The games, which were called after a strict time limit had been reached, were the first live competition of the summer for CCHS and Isabella.

Chilton coach Misty Jones said the offseason has been an opportunity for the Tigers to break in a couple of new setters. Rising sophomore Diana Guerrero and rising senior Courtney Coburn will share setting duties with returnee Kacy Sanders, who will be a sophomore.

“It’s been good; we have a couple of new setters coming up,” Jones said.

Isabella coach Glen Graham said his team has been hurt by not having all its regular players being able to practice at the same time.

The Mustangs looked rusty as Jemison’s Haley Smitherman served for 12 consecutive points to open their match, but Graham said he is more concerned about the team’s “leadership void” than its ability to return serves.

“If we can fill that void, then we’ll be OK,” Graham said about a squad that lost seven seniors.

Jemison, meanwhile, also played in practice games in Sylacauga on July 23, going 2-2 in their matches.

“I’m pleased with what they’re doing,” JHS coach Leighsa Robinson said. “I’m really pleased with their effort.”

In addition to the local teams, Montevallo, Southside-Selma and West Blocton also participated in the event.