The players – led by seniors Margaret Mary Bridges, Micah Collum, Rachel Farmer and Kristina Kosogorova – calmed their coach’s fears early.
Tupelo made a statement early and won its final regular season home match on Thursday, defeating Starkville 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-11) at THS gym to improve its record to 30-3.
“We played better than I thought we would,” Jordan said. “We had a ragged practice yesterday. We came out tonight focused for senior night.
“Starkville’s a quality team. They beat some good teams this year. Everybody wanted the seniors to go out with a bang.”
Tupelo has tentative matches scheduled next week against Lafayette and Oxford before beginning defense of its Class III state championship on Oct. 2 with a home playoff match against Southaven. The Lady Wave defeated the Chargers 2-0 earlier this season in the finals of the Southaven Invitational.
“They are a very good, capable team,” Jordan said of Southaven. “If we don’t come with our ‘A’ game they could beat us.”
The volleyball postseason consists of four rounds, which includes the state title match scheduled for Oct. 9 in Clinton.
Rachel Farmer, one of three sisters in Tupelo’s starting lineup, said she and her teammates will do the work and preparation required for the postseason.
“We’ve been more consistent in how we play, what we do,” said Farmer, who had three kills early to help the Wave take a 10-0 lead in game two against Starkville. “We haven’t been as up and down with our play as we were last year.”
Tupelo had a few communication breakdowns against the Lady Jackets, but Jordan attributed it to his frequent substitutions.
“Most of the time communication is our strength,” he said. “At times, however, it’s failed us.”
However, the substitutions have given the Lady Wave more depth, especially earlier in the season when 6-foot-3 shot blocker Hannah Farmer was sidelined with an injury.
“We’ve had some players step up – Camille Walker, Maragaret Mary Bridges, Kristina Kosogorova and Brena Medcalf,” Jordan said. “We had some 10th-graders step up and play well. It was almost like we didn’t miss a beat. That gives us depth. Something we didn’t have last year.”
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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