Lady Vikes come from behind to beat Pearl

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

PEARL — After Warren Central dropped its first game this volleyball season, it quickly picked up the pace, the pieces, and another win.

The Lady Vikes rallied to win the last three sets after losing the first on Tuesday, and defeated Pearl 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-14, 25-21) for their third consecutive victory.

“Pearl came out really pumped up. Their crowd was loud. This is one of their typical things. Last year we took the first set from them, we were loud and going, and they bored down and came back on us,” Warren Central coach Matt Gullett said. “I knew what we could do. I knew we could play better than we did. We could put more pressure. We played a little soft, a little scared in the first set.”

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Ellie Henderson had 10 kills on 31 attacks for the Lady Vikes, as well as three blocks. Calise Henyard had eight kills and four blocks, while Melissa Herrle had six kills and nine assists.

It was the fourth match in a row between the teams that has gone to at least four sets.

“It was very back-and-forth. There were a lot of rallies. This is a big rival for us,” Herrle said.

Pearl took control of the first game late, scoring 10 of the last 11 points to win 25-18. The next two games, though, were all Warren Central. The Lady Vikes opened five-point leads midway through both the second and third games and were never threatened in winning 25-18 and 25-14.

“We started receiving better and we got our sets up and then our attacks were on,” Herrle said. “Calise did a good job of putting it in places where there was nobody and they couldn’t get to it.”

It looked like the Lady Vikes were going to cruise home in the fourth game as well, but had to stave off a last-ditch comeback bid by Pearl.

The Lady Pirates ripped off seven points in a row to tie the score at 20 and then the teams traded points for a 21-21 tie. Finally, Warren Central settled in and scored the last four points to close it out.

Tabreia Davis served an ace for the final point. It was the last of her four aces in the match. Warren Central had 10 aces as a team.

“Our legs were a little heavy. Pearl’s legs were a little heavy. But I knew we could finish it. The girls wanted it,” Gullett said.

Gullett added that the Lady Vikes’ own comeback after losing the first game was just a matter of doing things a little bit better.

“We know what we’ve got and what we can do. I just challenged them to get out there and do what you can do,” Gullett said. “Keep pushing the attack, move them back and forth. We’ve been doing that real good against other teams, putting them on the defense and making them move a lot. We had a lot of well-placed balls.”

In the junior varsity match, Evella Fairley served four aces and Arionna Jenkins had seven kills and four blocks as the Lady Vikes beat Pearl 2-1 (25-15, 23-25, 15-10).

Vicksburg 3, Raymond 0
Kennedy Mullins had 12 aces on 22 serves, and added 12 assists as Vicksburg High beat Raymond 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-13).

Lili Kistler, Makynzie Dunmore and Jamia Grace all had solid games on the defensive end as the Missy Gators improved their record to 3-0.

Vicksburg’s junior varsity team also won, 2-0 (25-12, 25-14).

Vicksburg will play again Thursday against Jim Hill, at Blackburn Middle School in Jackson. The junior varsity plays at 5 p.m. and the varsity at 6.

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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