Saturday, October 01, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> JHS girls get win against Patriots

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville volleyball team picked up an important conference win Thursday in a 5A/6A District 4 matchup at Parkview.

The Lady Patriots took Jacksonville to the wire in an exciting five-game match three weeks ago at JHS, but the Lady Titans cut that short on Thursday.

Parkview started well, but Jacksonville finished strong. The Lady Titans won in four sets by scores of 23-25, 25-23, 25-18 and 25-15.

“On our side of the court, it was a much better match than the last time we played them,” said Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby. We were a lot more aggressive. We focused this week on keeping the momentum and not letting our mistakes go uncorrected and getting us down. We did a really good job of that. We didn’t play error free, but we corrected them quickly and never really let them have a lot of momentum.”

Game one ended with a bit of controversy. Parkview held a 24-23 lead and was about to serve for game point when Jacoby called timeout. The down ref heard the request and blew her whistle, but the top official did not. Jacksonville players heard it, and thought timeout had been granted. They were not ready to defend when the serve landed in fair play for an ace.

“That was a little disappointing for the game to end that way,” Jacoby said. “The R1 had not heard an earlier timeout by Parkview as well. The main thing I’m proud of is that our girls didn’t let it get to them. They just came out and played better the rest of the match.”

Each subsequent game was won by a wider margin than the previous. After winning game three and taking a 2-1 lead, Jacoby wanted to avoid a game five on the road, and issued a challenge to her players.

“I was really impressed with my girls because I told them we really need to come out strong in game four,” Jacoby said. “I felt like if we could grab the momentum early, we could put them away.”

Grab it early they did. Jacksonville got first serve and scored seven-straight points to start game four. Parkview never got back into serious contention.

Senior Elizabeth Brown served up those seven points. She also finished with seven aces over the course of the match. Rebecca Brown led the team in kills with 13, while her sister Basiah Brown finished with nine kills.

Rebecca Brown also led the team in digs with 16, while Elizabeth Brown and Lindsey Holt each had 13.

“I was really impressed with our defense,” Jacoby said. “It’s one of the better defensive efforts we’ve had this year.”

Jacksonville (5-11, 5-5) is currently in fifth place in the 5A/6A District 4 standings, but that has no bearing on postseason play.

Jacksonville and Hall High School are the only two 6A teams in District 4, and so will play in the 6A-East Conference tournament. If the tournament were to begin today, Jacksonville would be the four seed behind Marion, Mountain Home and Jonesboro, and would host West Memphis in the opening round.