Four DeSoto County high school volleyball teams met in Thursday action, with Hernando and Lewisburg coming away with victories.
Hernando defeated Olive Branch 3-1 with game scores of 25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 25-18. Meanwhile, Lewisburg, last year’s Class II state runner-up, held off Southaven, also by a 3-1 score with game results of 25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20.
In the battle of Lady Quistors and Lady Tigers in Hernando Thursday night, it was Olive Branch that won seven of the first 10 points in game one, but Hernando took an 8-7 lead with Caroline Casey’s kill.
The game remained close after that until Hernando put a run together that ended with a 25-17 victory.
Olive Branch rallied and controlled play in the second game, taking a 9-6 lead with a Hernando service error. The Lady Tigers got within 12-9 with a service ace from Kaitlyn Doyle but Olive Branch’s Diandria Biggs quickly followed that with a kill to put her team back up at 13-9.
An ace from sophomore Lauren Milam and a Biggs’ kill blocked out of bounds led to a 19-12 Olive Branch lead and a Hernando time out by coach Jamie Vinson.
The break did nothing to stem the tide, however, as Olive Branch continued the run and ended with a 25-16 victory after Biggs’ kill was blocked into the net.
Hernando found the groove in game three with a 4-1 lead when an Olive Branch kill attempt went long. The Lady Quistors rallied to get within 9-7 Lady Tigers, which then got a run going that included a pair of aces from Doyle to make the score 17-11.
An Olive Branch illegal hit made the score 23-14 for Hernando and two Lady Quistor service errors helped end the game at 25-17 for the Lady Tigers.
The visitors took early control of the fourth game with an 8-2 lead when freshman Brianna Williams’ kill was successful in gaining the point.
But, Hernando quickly responded with an 11-point rally for a 13-8 lead in the game when Doyle produced her second kill of the run.
Olive Branch could get no closer than 17-13 and another kill by Doyle ended the match by a 25-18 score.
For the match, Casey was credited with six kills and Doyle served four aces, along with Rachel Greer’s four service aces and sophomore Lexi Graves with five.
Doyle and Casey each added six digs in the final stat sheet.
Vinson is pleased to have the experience available to her on this year’s Hernando team, such as Casey and Doyle.
“We basically have all of the returning hitters from last year and just got a new transfer in Zoe Merriweather and she is a great addition,” Vinson said.
“It was a good match,” said Olive Branch coach Aubree Canton. “We’re just still working out some of the kinks, gotta get everything together and be able to fight with intensity all of the time.”
Meanwhile at Lewisburg, Noa Parks dominated the front line with 13 kills as the Lady Patriots won its opening match of the season.
Sophomore Londyn Bakeris served five aces in the match and junior Erin Sutton was credited with 15 digs.
Several DeSoto County schools are playing in Jackson area this weekend in the annual Set It Off tournament that began Friday and continues Saturday.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.