AMORY – It was a county showdown on the volleyball court on Thursday night.
Aberdeen took the first two sets and secured a 25-22 victory in the fourth set to beat county rival Amory 3-1 on a night when they were shorthanded due to homecoming.
“Our girls showed a lot of heart, especially only having six girls today and them playing JV and varsity both,” Aberdeen volleyball coach Marquis Burnett said. “The fact that they came says a lot. They had a lot of choices to make about whether to come or not, and they came and played hard. I'm very proud of them.”
Aberdeen also won set one by a score of 25-22 and set two by a score of 25-20.
Burnett said the leadership has been strong this season, and that starts with lone senior Jakayla Dancy.
“She came tonight, even though this was her senior homecoming parade,” he said. “She chose to come and support the younger girls, so I'm really proud of her.”
Amber Johnson is the only junior for the Lady Bulldogs, who were missing three varsity players due to homecoming activities.
“Their leadership really means a lot to us,” Burnett said. “We just missed the playoffs this year, finishing third, but with one senior, one junior and everyone else being 10th through 7th grade, I feel like we have a lot to look forward to next year.”
Amory won the third set with a 25-14 win, and coach Angel Greenhill said the team continues to show promise, despite just two wins this season. The Lady Panthers don't graduate any starters from this year's team.
“We really played hard tonight, and I told the girls to keep their heads up,” Greenhill said. “It's sort of been emotional for a lot of them with it being the last game. We're looking at pretty much the same team for next year, so there's a lot of promise.”
Greenhill said several younger players stuck out in the final game of the year.
“Kylee Westbrook was amazing tonight, and Chloe Sanders is going to be really good. Abi Parish is one to watch, and she learned a lot from her sister Sam. You can't say enough about Sakari Pack's arm, and she has to reel it in sometimes but she's a workhorse. Sarah Hampton and Bethany Carter are such leaders for this team, and they do an excellent job keeping everyone focused.”