AUTHOR: PEPPER

HED:Lady Wave coach pleased with improvement of squad

By Bobby Pepper

Daily Journal

Tupelo High volleyball coach Bert Martin is pleased with how far the Lady Wave program has come in the past three years.

Martin, however, only has to look at his team's division to see how much more they need to improve. Competing along with Tupelo and other area teams in the same group are Horn Lake and Southaven - the state's first two prep volleyball champions.

"We still have a long way to go to be up there with Southaven and Horn Lake," Martin said.

The Lady Wave may make some strides this fall with a lineup filled with returning players from last year's 9-6 season. Tupelo opens the '97 season at home tonight against Oxford.

Tupelo competes in MHSAA Division 1 along with Horn Lake, Southaven, Oxford, West Point, Aberdeen, Columbus, Starkville and Holly Springs. The teams play a round-robin schedule to determine seedings for the division tournament Oct. 4 in Tupelo.

"We have nine girls coming back who saw playing time last year," said Martin, who's beginning his third season as coach. "We lost only one starter."

Martin said five of the nine will be regular starters. They are setter Lindsey Stimpson, defensive specialist Lisa Yarbrough and outside hitters Ashley Sloan, Lauren Stimpson and Cashuna Huddleston.

"We have some new faces and girls who've played before at other schools," Martin said.

In addition to the division games, the Lady Wave will play in tournaments at Bay St. Louis and Selmer,Tenn.

"We scheduled more games and more tournaments this year," he said. "I think with the girls we have, we'll have B-team games on a regular basis. Last year we had maybe a couple."

THS Volleball Schedule

Aug. 18 vs. Oxford 6 p.m.

Aug. 20 vs. Holly Springs 6 p.m.

Aug. 25 vs. Starkville 6 p.m.

Aug. 28 vs. West Point 4 p.m.

vs. Southaven 6 p.m.

Sept. 3 vs. Columbus 6 p.m.

Sept. 5-6 Bay High Tour. TBA

Sept. 8 at Holly Springs 6 p.m.

Sept. 10 at Starkville TBA

Sept. 10 at Columbus TBA

Sept. 15 vs. Aberdeen 4 p.m.

vs. Horn Lake 6 p.m.

Sept. 22 at Oxford 5 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Horn Lake 5 p.m.

at Southaven 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 x-at Selmer, Tenn. TBA

Oct. 4 y-Division Tournament TBA

x-Tupelo will play three different opponents at Selmer Meet; y-Tupelo will host the division tournament.

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