Demopolis volleyball falls at Thomasville

Published 12:35 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

THOMASVILLE — Demopolis High volleyball (4-6, 2-0) endured a pair of bad games and a handful of questionable calls Thursday before falling to Thomasville 3-2 on the road.

The visiting Lady Tigers were slow to get off the bus in the first game of the match, losing 25-11 while the majority of their points in the opener came on unforced errors from Thomasville.

Prior to the second game, head coach Blythe Smith called her team together and demanded more of an effort.

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“They woke up,” she said of the effects of the team chat. “They started moving their feet and working together and talking.”

Despite the effort, Demopolis trailed through the majority of the match before finally breaking serve down 23-20. The Lady Tigers then took over serve and surged back to take a 24-23 lead before losing the ball back to Thomasville. Down 25-24 and facing a game point, Demopolis proceeded to break Thomasville’s serve and hand Riley King the ball in a tie game. King dropped in two serves and got good defense from her team to ice the game and tie the match at 1-1 despite serving three straight balls out of bounds at one point in the match.

Demopolis sprinted out to a 13-4 lead in game three before a series of errors saw the team spiral to a 16-13 disadvantage. Despite the struggles, Demopolis woke up to outscore Thomasville 12-7 down the stretch and take game three, moving to a 2-1 advantage in the match.

“My front row players finally started figuring out they needed to be on the front row and it worked out for us,” Smith said of the defensive adjustments her team made.

Demopolis and Thomasville found themselves in a competitive match early in game four before the visiting Tigers were ruled to have used an illegal block on a serve. Moments later, the officials called an out of bounds ball off the fingertips of a Demopolis player, a ruling that drew the ire of the DHS bench.

Demopolis appeared to lose the momentum entirely from that moment forward, going on to lose the fourth game 25-10.

Thomasville iced the win in the rubber game with a 15-9 victory.

Despite the loss, Smith said her team made great strides both in terms of competitiveness and execution.

“We had the best setting we’ve had all season in this match,” Smith said. “You’ve got to start with passing and we had some really good passes to the setter and (Shannon Pittman) was able to help us.”

The Lady Tigers will play again Monday, Sept. 26 when they host Greensboro.