Clint Jordan constantly reminds his team to remain focused.
His Tupelo Lady Wave listened Saturday.
When visiting Madison Central made a brief scoring run to take a three-point lead early in the second game of its MHSAA Class III first-round volleyball playoff match, Tupelo’s focus never wavered.
The Lady Wave rallied to win the game 25-13 as it rolled to a 3-0 victory, taking 25-3 and 25-14 wins in the first and third games.
“Madison Central fought back to start the second game,” Jordan said. “They came out swinging. We didn’t lose focus.”
Hannah Farmer, the Wave’s 6-foot-2 freshman, has responded to Jordan’s “remain focused” appeals.
“Most of the time we tend to lose focus in the second game,” she said. “In this game, we kept it all the way through.”
Tupelo, now 22-9, advanced to Tuesday’s state quarterfinals, which will be played at the DeSoto Central-Jackson Wingfield winner. The Lady Wave defeated DeSoto Central 2-1 this season in the Southaven Invitational.
Madison Central ended its season with a 14-16 record.
It would have been easy for the Lady Wave’s concentration to waver after it raced to a 22-point win in the opening game. Farmer and Camille Walker had two kills each for the Wave.
Back-to-back kill shots by Bree Brown gave Madison Central its 8-5 lead in the second game. Behind the shots of Farmer, her sister, Rachel, and Kristina Kosogorova, the Wave rallied to surge ahead 20-13.
A block by Rachel Farmer clinched the game.
Tupelo, behind a left-handed crossing shot by Sarah Farmer, took a commanding 20-10 lead in the third game. Kosogorova’s kill shot and block gave the Wave the win.
“Our faster style of play has helped keep us focused,” said Jordan, referring to the team’s newly-adopted offensive scheme. “When we played at a slower tempo it put us to sleep.”
Jordan said a possible road game Tuesday against DeSoto Central would be the toughest postseason draw for any team in the state.
“They are the best all-around team we could play,” he said. “We need to enjoy this win, but remember what’s ahead.”
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal