They played hard and tough, but mental errors, a few nerves and some points lost on serves left Midway’s Raider girls empty-handed in their season-opening road game against rival Rosewood.
“Overall, I was please with the way they played,” said head coach Heather Johnson of both the JV and varsity squads. “They’ve still got some work to do, but we’ll get it all worked out and come together eventually.”
The JV lost in three sets, 23-25, 17-25 and 18-25, but despite the score, Johnson said she thought the younger Raiders did a “really good job.”
“They were all close matches. We had a few mental mistakes that cost us some points, and we gave up ponts on serving and that hurt us.”
She praised the play of JV team members Amber Poole, who had 5 consecutive service points, Taylor Fann, who had 6 consecutive service points and Kelsey Pondo for their play.
“They were nervous. It was their season-opener and we were on the road, but they did a good job,” Johnson said of the JV.
Nerves also set in during the varsity game, as the girls, nine of them returning players, tried out a new offense and defense. The Raider girls lost in five, 15-25; 26-24; 25-17; 25-22; 15-10, but, again, Johnson said, she saw good play from her team.
“There were a lot of good things happening on the court, but we just couldn’t pull it all together. And Rosewood had some good hits, too. For our first game out, though, I’d say I was pleased overall with the way they played.”
She stressed the serve, saying if her team couldn’t get their serve going they’d be giving up points, something they don’t want to do. “We understand that and will learn from it. I see this team just getting better and better as the season progresses.”
For the varsity, Jada Cannady, Johnson said, had an outstanding game, with kills that were “tremendous.” Hawley Bass, she said, also did a great job at the net.
“Elizabeth McCullen hit the floor really hard, trying to dig everything she could and Jennifer Blackmon had a good mental game. She could see the entire floor and find the open holes, which was great.”
The Raider coach said her team still had work to do getting prepared for the season, but she was confident in their ability. “I see good things for these girls, I really do,” Johnson said.
Midway returns to the court next Monday, Aug. 20, when they host Clinton. The JV game starts at 4:30