Serve efficiency gives Jemison tourney title
By Stephen Dawkins
The Jemison volleyball team continued its hot start by winning the Calera Invitational Tournament on Sept. 29.
The field also included Thorsby, though the Rebels didn’t perform up to coach Ginger Williams’ expectations.
The Panthers went 5-0 in the tournament to improve their record to 10-4 on the season.
“I have really challenged my team to be just as tough mentally as they are physically,” coach Leighsa Robinson said. “I am very proud of the progress our team has made and the effort that they are giving. We have great senior leadership and this makes a difference when you have to pull out a crucial third-game win.”
Jemison had to pull out a third-game win in the tournament’s championship match. The Panthers dropped Game 1 to Shelby County High, 19-25, but then rebounded to win 25-17 and 15-11.
Statistical category leaders were Dallis Vanderslice with four aces, Kasi Wells with three blocks and five assists, Tabatha Cork with five kills and Emily Smithey with nine digs.
The Panthers recorded 39 aces and missed only 17 serves in 258 attempts in the tournament. The squad also recorded wins over Chilton County High (25-9, 25-23), Montevallo (25-21, 26-24) and Calera (25-11, 25-13) and in a previous match against SCHS (25-14, 26-24).
Thorsby defeated Holt (25-13, 25-20) and lost to Marbury (25-20, 21-25, 3-15) and Calera (14-25, 22-25), bringing its record to 4-3.
“It was not what we expected,” Williams said. “Our girls played extremely well at times. Unfortunately, we had mental lapses at crucial times during several matches.
“We will continue to work hard every day, every practice, and we will get better.”
Holly Smith had four aces and 28 assists on the day. Michelle Hendrix had five aces and five assists, Brittany Maddox had five digs and 22 kills, Kendra Dawson had six digs, Sade’ Archie had six kills, Kelsie Davis had seven kills and Stephanie Moore had eight kills.