Volleyball teams need first-round wins to advance

Published 12:12 am Saturday, October 15, 2011

Three local volleyball teams will compete in regional playoff tournaments on Saturday—two of those teams at the same location.

Isabella and Thorsby, who finished 1-2 in their area tournament, will play in the Class 2A, Region B tournament, hosted at Clarke County High School by Leroy.

Thorsby plays Zion Chapel at 10 a.m., and Isabella plays Ariton at 11:15 a.m.

Those first games determine whether the local teams advance to the sub-state round. Eight teams are grouped in each regional. The first-round winners advance; first-round losers are eliminated.

Additional tournament games are played to determine which teams host sub-state games.

Thorsby coach Ginger Williams said her team was disappointed in its area tournament performance on Monday—the Rebels fought back from a 2-0 hole to defeat Billingsley but then were swept in straight sets by Isabella—but has had a good week of practice.

“Right now we seem to be in good spirits,” Williams said. “You’re going to have times during the year where you’re not playing as well. How you bounce back from those ruts is what makes you better.”

Another squad that keeps improving is Jemison, who will play host Sumter-Central at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Class 4A, Region B tournament.

“I think that we’re taking something from every match that we play,” JHS coach Leighsa Robinson said. “It’s going to be important for us to do the little things right. Then the big things will come.

Robinson said her team must pass the ball effectively to have success.

“When we pass the ball, we’re as good as any team we play,” she said.

Isabella, meanwhile, is working toward its third consecutive state tournament appearance.

The Mustangs first will need to take care of business Saturday. So far, so good, coach Glen Graham said after an encouraging week of practice.

“I’m expecting good things out of them,” he said.