Lady Vikes top Vicksburg again

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Warren Central’s volleyball season was derailed by a mid-September losing streak. It’ll instead have to settle for heading into the offseason with a couple of active winning streaks.

Senior Anaya Holt had nine kills and 12 digs, Tyra Bridges served seven aces, and the Lady Vikes had 21 aces as a team as they beat Vicksburg High 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 29-27) on Tuesday.

Warren Central (11-12) won its third consecutive match and beat Vicksburg for the 23rd time in a row. It’ll end the season Thursday at home, at 6 p.m. against Raymond, with a chance to finish at .500 and take some positive momentum into the offseason.

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“Ninety percent of the teams we’ve played are going to be playing next week (in the playoffs). We just ran into a Northwest Rankin team that had a pretty good squad. We ran into a Pearl team with an all-star, phenomenal hitter,” Warren Central coach Matt Gullett said, referring to the Lady Vikes’ two Region 6-6A rivals that dealt them three losses in a row in September to end their playoff hopes. “I know next year what we’ve got coming back and what they’ve got coming back and we’re looking forward to a heated rivalry. We were hoping this would be the year, but there’s always next year.”

For Vicksburg (9-6), there’s still a lot left to play for this year. The Missy Gators will finish the regular season with a road game Thursday at Lanier, and then head into the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs Oct. 12 at East Central.

Coach Deborah Brown said her team has a favorable draw in the bracket, and after a season of tinkering with lineups thinks she’s found a winning one.

“We played a lot better tonight than we did when we played (Warren Central) back on August 26. I did a lot of mixing, and I think the last set I had on the floor is going to be the group that gets us over the hump when it really matters come Tuesday,” Brown said.

The Missy Gators will still have to wait until next season to get over the hump against Warren Central, though. They’ve never beaten the Lady Vikes since both schools started their volleyball programs in 2011.

Although it ended the same way as the previous 22 meetings, Tuesday’s match was competitive. Warren Central jumped to a 10-1 lead in the first set, then won seven of nine points during another run to win 25-17.

Vicksburg took its first lead of the match at 11-10 in the second set, but Warren Central finished on an 11-2 run to win it 25-18.

In the third set, neither team led by more than three points. Vicksburg had a chance to win after going up 24-21, but the Lady Vikes won the next four points. After trading several more points, Warren Central finally won two in a row to claim the 29-27 victory and close out the match.

“It’s euphoric in a way, to have such an intense game and pull out the win,” Holt said.
Keeping the winning streak against Vicksburg alive for another season was also nice, she added.
“It’s our biggest rivalry and always has been, so it feels good to be able to continue the streak,” Holt said.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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