By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The race for No. 1 in Class 3, Region 1 volleyball remains wide open.
Southaven climbed back into the mix Thursday night, blitzing defending state champion Tupelo 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-13) on its home court.
The victory gave the Lady Chargers (21-6, 4-2 region) a measure of revenge for their 3-2 loss to the Lady Wave (18-5, 4-2) Aug. 30 in Southaven.
“I think it was mental,” said Lady Wave senior Kelsey Burnis. “We built this game up to be so important. When we got here, we crashed.”
DeSoto Central is undefeated in region play, but has single matches remaining against Southaven and Tupelo.
Tupelo committed 10 defensive errors, eight blocking errors and eight service errors. The Lady Wave had just 14 kills, five by Burnis.
Hannah Farmer, who has been sidelined since the first Southaven game with an ankle injury, returned to the lineup and blocked five shots.
“We didn’t give them a lot to defend against,” Tupelo coach Laurie Bishop said. “We didn’t run our offense.”
Southaven’s balanced offensive attack was led by Taylor Edwards with eight kills and Raymie Neal with five kills. Both had kill shots for the 23rd and 24th points in the third game.
A tap-in shot by Neal sealed the victory.
“We worked on not letting up and matching their points,” Edwards said. “We wanted to keep the offense on our side.”
Breanna Thompson had three service aces and Jasmine Monsegue came off the bench in the third game to block three shots for the Chargers.
“We just could not snap out of it tonight,” Bishop said. “This is similar to a year ago when we couldn’t get anything together.”
Bishop was referring to her team’s 3-0 loss last season to the Chargers in Southaven.
Southaven opened the match by charging out to a 20-9 lead. Edwards clinched the win with a kill. Tupelo remained in striking distance the second game, but faltered down the stretch.
“We were focused and ready to play,” Southaven coach Allison Burchyett said.