By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
SOUTHAVEN – Tupelo’s journey to the state volleyball championships was ended Saturday by errors and nemesis DeSoto Central.
The Lady Golden Wave committed 14 service errors, 14 defensive errors and 22 offensive errors in its 3-1 loss to the Lady Jaguars in the MHSAA Class III state quarterfinals.
Tupelo (22-7), the defending state champion, lost all three of its matches to its Region 1 rival, DeSoto Central (24-4), this season.
“The glaring statistic today was the 14 service errors,” second-year coach Laurie Bishop said. “Against a team like that you can’t give away 14 points.
“I thought we matched up well and we kept it close. We just couldn’t get any momentum.”
The Lady Wave won the first game, 25-20, of the best-of-five match, before falling 25-22, 26-24 and 25-19 to the home team.
DeSoto Central advances to Tuesday’s state semifinals against city rival Southaven.
“These girls have worked hard for this all season,” DeSoto Central coach Margaret Falatko said. “They fought through every point and every error they made. They earned that win.”
Lady jags rally
Tupelo led by as much as 20-9 in the first game, but the Lady Jaguars rallied to battle their visitors point for point in the second game. A kill shot by the Wave’s Kelsey Burnis tied the score at 22-22.
However, DeSoto Central scored the final three points, including a clinching kill by McKena Davis.
“Had we won that second game, maybe we would have seen a different outcome,” Bishop said. “Both teams played off each other. They were able to finish it out.
“We were right there; we just had trouble winning a game.”
In the third game, a kill by Burnis gave Tupelo a 24-23 edge. However, Davis was again the star for the Jaguars as she recorded a kill and two game-winning aces.
Davis and Rachel Jackson had two kills apiece late in the fourth game to clinch the match for DeSoto Central.
Tupelo’s 6-foot-3 middle blocker Hannah Farmer closed out her career with 11 kills and four blocks.