Lady Vikes beat Vicksburg again to lock up No. 3 seed in volleyball playoffs

Published 11:04 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

Neither the Region 2-6A playoff picture nor the trend line of the Warren Central vs. Vicksburg volleyball series changed after their latest meeting.

Warren Central served a dozen aces, led by four each from Tabreia Davis and Melissa Herrle, and Ellie Henderson had nine kills as the Lady Vikes beat Vicksburg 3-0 (25-8, 25-7, 25-22) on Thursday.

Hannah Island had four kills on her birthday, and KK Kelly had six.

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The Lady Vikes rallied from three points down in the third set by scoring eight of the last 10 points.

“Tonight we looked good. First and second set we played well. Third set, they played a little better and picked it up and made our girls work for it,” Warren Central coach Matthew Gullett said.

Gullett added that some of the shift in momentum from the first two sets to the third was because of a liberal substitution pattern. With little to gain from the match in the big picture, he took the opportunity to give most of his roster some playing time. Mixing different players and lineups, Gullett said, also mixed up chemistry and communication on the floor.

“I was able to play some girls that don’t get a lot of play. They’re still a little hesitant and nervous, and you know how it is. You mix with the recipe and sometimes the cookies don’t turn out as well,” Gullett said.

It was a frustrating night for Vicksburg (8-6, 3-6 MHSAA Region 2-6A), which lost its second match in a row overall and for the 26th consecutive time to its crosstown rival.

The Missy Gators were missing several starters and, despite the strong showing in the third set, put themselves in too big a hole to crawl out of.

“We got away from our three hits. When we do all three hits the game stays consistent. Once we get away from three hits that’s when everything goes down. We’re not communicating,” Vicksburg coach Deborah Brown said.

The Missy Gators have one more regular-season match, Oct. 3 at Callaway, to straighten things out before the playoffs begin. They were still mathematically alive for the No. 3 seed from Region 2-6A heading into Thursday’s match, but instead will finish fourth. They’ll travel to play Lake Cormorant in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs on Oct. 10.

Brown said figuring out the Missy Gators’ issues is a more important task over the next week than worrying about who their opponent is.

“It doesn’t matter the match, because if they’re going to show up to play it’s going to be whoever’s game it is. It’s just a matter of getting ready and getting focused,” Brown said.

Warren Central (19-10, 6-3), meanwhile, will be the No. 3 seed from Region 2-6A and will go to Center Hill for its first-round playoff match on Oct. 10. It has three regular-season matches remaining, including one within the region against Neshoba Central, but cannot improve its playoff standing.

The Lady Vikes are also scheduled to christen Warren Central’s renovated gym next Thursday, Oct. 5, with a home match vs. Pearl. A pep rally will be held at 6:15 p.m. and the match will start at 6:45.

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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