DHS volleyball goes 0-2 at regional tournament

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MOBILE–A successful 2005 season for the Demopolis volleyball team has come to an end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite the end they were hoping for.

DHS lost four of five games and both matches at the double-elimination 4A Regional A tournament, held at UMS-Wright High School last Saturday. The Tigers were one of two teams (along with area rival Thomasville) to be eliminated after their first two matches.

But the disappointing performance didn’t dampen head coach Tammy Thrasher’s enthusiasm for her team’s accomplishments this season. After an uneven 1-2 start, Demopolis rattled off six straight victories and went on to claim both a winning season and the Area 4 championship over Thomasville.

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“I’m very happy with the season we had,” Thrasher said. “It was disappointing to finish the season like that at the regional, but we had a good season.”

The Tigers’ successes were due in large part, Thrasher says, to the hard work put forth by the team’s five seniors: Shawnese Armstead, Kayla Langham, Blakely Tartt, Ashley Charleston, and Danielle Kerrigan.

“They’ve all made a great contribution to the team,” Thrasher says. I’ve worked with Shawnese and Ashley for four years now and they’re just awesome volleyball players. I hope they play some volleyball when they go to college.”

But even the presence of Demopolis’s seniors–along with other starters Sara Davis and Alex Ward, and team members Tashema Brown, Marshay Anthony, and Leann Andrews–didn’t help when DHS came out flat against first-round opponent Daleville, the Area 3 tourney runner-up. DHS fell into an early hole in game 1 and lost 25-17.

The Tigers looked to have shaken off their early jitters with an emphatic 25-15 game 2 win to tie the best-of-three match at a game apiece. But the Warhawks made a rebound of their own in game 3 and took the match with a 25-15 win.

“It was fairly close,” Thrasher said of the match, referring to the Tigers’ forcing a decisive third game, “but we should have beaten Daleville.”

Things would get no easier for the Tigers in the losers’ bracket, as they had to face off with Area 2 champion Andalusia. Demopolis struggled to a 25-5 defeat in game 2 and despite a better effort in game 2, fell by a 25-14 score and were eliminated from the competition.

“We stayed with them for a while in the second set,” Thrasher said, “but they had a very good server and she went on a run. Andalusia had a very good team.”

The tournament title and runner-up position eventually went to state volleyball powers UMS-Wright and Gulf Shores.

Despite the showing in Mobile, and although she admits the loss of the seniors will sting, Thrasher says she is optimistic the Demopolis volleyball program will continue to move forward.

“We’ve got some good-looking freshmen,” she says. “We’re hoping to continue building our program.”