By Kedrick Storey
For the first time in the program’s five-year history, the Ripley Lady Tigers volleyball team is heading to the MHSAA state tournament.
On Saturday, Ripley (15-14) had a day of firsts at the Division 1-1 Tournament at the RHS Event Center. The No. 3 seeded Lady Tigers rolled past No. 6 Pontotoc 25-18 and 25-10 for their first division-tournament win.
They dropped a close 3-set match to Belmont 27-25, 23-25 and 15-17 and was forced into a consolation match for third place with the Corinth Lady Warriors, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, who were upset by Tishomingo County.
Ripley lost 18-25 in the first set. In the second, the rallied from an eight-point deficit, scoring 17 of the final 22 points to win 25-21 and force a Game 3. Ripley jumped to a 7-2 lead in the clincher and made it hold up late for the 17-15 victory and the 2-1 match win.
It was Ripley’s first-ever win over Corinth.
‘We’ve worked so hard’
“It means the world,” said senior-hitter Abby Sullivan, who had several kills on the day. “How we did it, I’m just so amazed. We’ve worked so hard for it, and we finally won when it came down to it. All the running and everything we did, it paid off in the end like it’s supposed too. It may be third, but I’m proud of it. I’m proud of everyone.”
Ripley is coached by Ashley Connolly and Joel Gafford.