: Sidney Lanier’s Alexus Youngblood attempts to hit the ball past Selma’s J’tia White, left, and T’keyah Harris, right, during a match Thursday night at Selma High School. --Daniel Evans
: Sidney Lanier’s Alexus Youngblood attempts to hit the ball past Selma’s J’tia White, left, and T’keyah Harris, right, during a match Thursday night at Selma High School. -- Daniel Evans

Saints fall in matches against Lanier, Greensboro

Published 12:15am Friday, October 11, 2013

The Selma Saints were hoping Thursday’s tri-match with Sidney Lanier and Greensboro would give them some momentum going into Monday’s senior night and the Class 5A, Region 6 area tournament, but instead two losses showed the Saints spots where they can still improve.

The second match was probably the tougher loss to grasp, considering the Saints led both sets almost the entire way before falling at the end.

“It is the little mistakes that cost us,” said Selma head coach Melissa White. “We’ve got to be able to find a way that once we get on top we have to stay there. We have got to set the momentum and set the tempo and stay on top. Those key little mistakes cost us.”

In Selma’s second match of the night against Greensboro, Selma blew big leads in both of the sets played.

The Saints jumped out to a 10-7 advantage in the first set that turned into a 20-14 lead, but everything changed from there. The Raiders Shawnderyl Watford served for points seven consecutive times to turn a 22-18 deficit into a 25-22 set win.

The second set was like a reply of the first, with Selma taking an 18-12 lead before watching the Raiders storm back to tie the set 18-18 on their way to a 25-23 victory.

White said her team showed that it still needs to work on its killer instinct, something she equates to the Saints youth.

“It goes back to the youngness, not really knowing the game that much and them just being passive still,” White said. “They’ve got to get more aggressive, but it’s coming. I see a difference in them. I see improvement in them but we still have to keep pushing.”

The Saints first match of the evening was not as close, with Sidney Lanier dominating both games in a 25-12, 25-18 victory. The Poets seized control early in the first set and never let go, leading the entire way. The second set was more competitive, but Sidney Lanier pushed through a 15-15 tie to win ten of the final thirteen points in a 25-18 win.

White said her team played hard in both matches, a positive they can carry forward into postseason play.

“We are getting experience and they hustled,” White said. “I can be pleased with the hustle. It is just the mental mistakes. If they didn’t hustle, I would have a problem with it but they continue to work hard and they continue to hustle”

Monday the Saints will celebrate senior day with a game against county rival Keith High School.

The Saints will sell pink ribbons and take donations at the game and half of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society as part of Selma’s “Digging for the Cure” campaign.

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