FALKNER - With new adventures brings a high level of excitement and that excitement was even more tangible than the sweltering heat that filled the Falkner High School gym last Tuesday, Aug. 13.
In their first ever home game as volleyball program and with a large crowd on hand, the Lady Eagles swept Okolona 3-0 (25-5, 25-14, 25-20) to pick up their first win of the season.
"The girls were very excited about getting to play at home," said Falkner volleyball head coach Morgan Robertson. "A lot of our students were going around the halls saying 'We are going to be there Coach Morgan. We are going to be there, girls.' So the kids are very excited about something new.
"It was the hottest day of the year and we have no air conditioner and we still had a great turnout. It seems like the whole community is excited about this. We haven't changed a whole lot in the past and this gives our girls something new, especially for the ones who didn't play softball and have a love for volleyball."
The game was won at the service line with the Lady Eagles dropping in a total of 22 aces and 10 coming from sophomore Laney Crawford. Crawford opened the match with four aces as Falkner went on an 8-0 run, setting the tone for the 25-5 win in the first set.
"Serving played a big role tonight," said Robertson. "Laney is our go-to player. She helps myself and Traci (Hoggatt) a lot too. As a team, we did a lot better on our serving, which is something we have been concentrating on for a while. If we don't get it over, then it is just free points for the other team so we focus on that a lot."
The Lady Eagles matchup against Okolona featured two teams who while in their first year as programs, will make their fair share of mistakes throughout the season. In last Tuesday's game, the two teams had 27 combined service errors and countless attacking errors. Robertson says that is something to be expected as teams grow more comfortable with the sport but adds how important it is for her team to make less mistakes than their opponents on a nightly basis.
"If we don't keep the ball in play and get it back across to the other team then you are taking the game out of your own hands," Robertson claimed. "To give yourself a chance you're going to have to correct your mistakes, especially in this division. We have a pretty tough division and correcting our mistakes is only going to get us to where we want to be."
The Lady Eagles went on to defeat Okolona 3-1 (26-24, 27-25, 23-25, 25-17) on Thursday, Aug. 15 to move to (2-2, 2-0) on the season.