Panthers finish second in tournament

Published 9:46 pm Monday, August 22, 2011

Tournament warriors: Jemison’s Shelby Griffin hits the ball over the net during a match against Sylacauga on Saturday at a tournament hosted by Thorsby. Griffin is one of only two Panthers who were in the regular playing rotation last season.

A young Jemison volleyball team is growing up quickly.

The Panthers looked inexperienced in a season opening loss to Montevallo on Aug. 18 but bounced back to win three of four matches and finish as runner-up in the Thorsby Super Saturday Tournament on Saturday.

“We had our moments where we played really well, and we needed that for our confidence,” Robinson said. “I think the girls were just as disappointed as I was (by the Montevallo loss). I don’t know if it was first match jitters or whatever, but we put that match behind us. We got better Saturday, and that’s what we need to continue to do every match.”

The Panthers defeated Vincent, 2-0 (25-17, 25-9); Sylacauga, 2-0 (25-22, 25-21); and Thorsby, 2-1 (25-27, 25-17, 16-14); before falling to Marbury, 2-0 (25-12, 25-16), in the championship match of the tournament, which was held at Jemison’s Alton Cobb Gymnasium.

Haley Smitherman led the Jemison defense with 14 digs in the tournament; she also had four aces and 13 kills. Morgan Posey had eight digs to go along with 11 aces and three kills.

Morgan Lucas aced opponents six times and had three assists.

Lauren Price assisted on 43 points, and Shelby Griffin had 22 kills and four blocks. Denten Ellison had 11 kills.