PREP NOTEBOOK: Ripley volleyball turns corner after one defeat

By Gene Phelps

Daily Journal

Ripley’s volleyball team entered Tupelo High’s annual Volleyfest with an 0-6 record and exited the day-long event Sept. 7 with a 1-9 ledger.

Despite winning just one game that Saturday, the struggling Lady Tigers found some confidence in a loss to state power Ocean Springs.

“We actually led them 6-0 in a game and scored 20 points in a game against them,” Ripley assistant coach Ashley Connolly said. “Nobody had scored 20 points on them. That gave the girls some confidence.”

Ripley entered the season with high expectations. The Lady Tigers had “played awesome” during summer league action, Connolly noted.

“We were frustrated and surprised. We had worked so hard all year, doing the things we needed to do,” Connolly said. “It was like ‘Whoa!’’’

Later the next week, Ripley upset Tupelo 3-2 for its second win. The Lady Tigers have now won seven of their last eight matches. On Tuesday, they scored a 3-0 Class I, Division 1 victory against Tishomingo County.

“Something clicked in the Tupelo tournament and we started playing as a team,” senior middle blocker Meg Lambert said. “The team that we are now is the team we should have been at the beginning of the season.”

Ripley’s 3-2 in division play with a league game against Alcorn Central remaining. The teams, seeded by their division record, will play a postseason tournament Oct. 12 in Ripley. The top three teams will advance to the state playoffs.

Tupelo meet features competitive lineup

Tupelo High’s swim teams – girls and boys – are undefeated through three meets this season, but keeping that streak alive will be tougher this weekend.

The Golden Wave will host a meet Saturday at Rob Leake City Park pool that will include teams from Amory, Madison Central, Oxford, Starkville and Tupelo Christian Prep. THS coach Lucas Smith says more teams may be added to the lineup.

“This will be more of a championship-style meet,” Smith said. “We’ll be competing against more teams. We’ll see where we stand as a team.”

Tupelo’s previous wins this season have been at home against Oxford and Starkville.

“Starkville has been a strong test the whole time,” Smith said. “They have some really good athletes and they’re coming on strong.”

Saturday’s meet will start at 11 a.m.

Lady Wave playing in Clinton tournament

Tupelo High’s volleyball team, which has struggled as of late, plays three matches Saturday in the Clinton Invitational at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum.

The Lady Wave plays Madison St. Joseph at 10 a.m. and Germantown at 11. The team’s final match is scheduled for 2 p.m. against Northwest Rankin.