Selma volleyballers rally over Southside

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SELMA — Southside’s volleyball team lost 2-1 to Selma on Tuesday night, but Panthers coach April O’Neal isn’t unhappy.

Selma’s team lost the first game when Southside went on an 11-0 streak for the 25-20 decision. Saints coach Lindsay Ehlers, however, knew her team was better than it played.

So for an evening of volleyball, essentially, neither team went away too discouraged. Selma did win the match 20-25, 25-17 and 15-12.

In the first game, Southside ninth-grader Juanita McKinnis served nine straight points to get the Panthers (1-4 on the year) back into the game. Then to the victory.

“We meant to be ready,” said O’Neal, whose Panthers lost an earlier match 2-0 to Lanier High School of Montgomery. “I had to call a timeout to get their minds focused.”

Ehlers said the Saints (2-3) had too many miscues in the first game.

“Every game we’ve lost wasn’t because the other team was better,” Ehlers said. “We just made mistakes. We lost on our mistakes in the first game.”

O’Neal said her Panthers “let up in the second game,” eventually leading to the loss.

“When they realize that they can play as good as the other team, then they will see the difference,” she said about her first-year team. “We are playing at the level of other teams and not at our level.

“I can’t complain, but I’m not satisfied,” O’Neal said.

Ehlers said the 2009 Saints have improved over last year’s team.

“They have conditioned more, they are more focused,” she said. “They are more disciplined, and that makes a big difference. They are dedicated, working hard and getting the rotation down.”

Two seniors — Darricka Green and Tiffany Lister — are leading the team, Ehler said, along with junior Jasmine Lewis.