In the postseason, it’s usually the veteran leaders that step up in the critical moments. Carver has four seniors on the roster, but it was a junior who starred in the Wolverines’ win over Alma Bryant in the opening round of the Class 6A Regionals .
Junior middle hitter Tatyana Calhoun saved her best for when it counted, helping Carver bounce back from a slow start to advance to the quarterfinals against McGill-Toolen at 1:30 p.m. today.
“Tatyana Calhoun is the one that started that fight,” Carver coach Virginia Franklin said. “She started blocking everything they put up, and everybody else just caught on. Usually it’s one of my seniors, but she’s the one that started that fire today.”
Calhoun had 12 blocks and seven kills to lead the Wolverines in four sets. After dropping the first set 25-22, Carver bounced back to win the next three 25-19, 25-20, 25-23.
“I feel wonderful,” Calhoun said. “I just kept a great attitude about things even though it got kind of tight. I just tried to keep … pushing every teammate because I knew we had it.”
Keyanna Abdul-Malik had three kills, three aces and five digs for Carver. Taylor Flemming had nine kills and six blocks, Ashanti Tunnell added seven digs, and Fiera Wilson had 26 assists.
Franklin said slow starts are not unusual for the Wolverines, but that’s why they were able to stay composed after losing the first set.
“For some reason, my kids start off slow and then come on strong,” Franklin said. “After the first one, I told them, ‘This is a best three out of five, and only one has been taken. There were still three more left to get. And they said, ‘Coach, we know, we’ve got it.’ “
JD swept by Baker
Jeff Davis fell to Baker 25-16, 25-11, 25-7 in the opening round. Jessica Thomas led the Volunteers with 12 digs. Kearia Williams added seven assists, and Aysia Smith had eight kills and three digs.
After the loss, Jeff Davis coach Mark Eubanks kept his team on the court to let the moment sink in.
“We battled through a lot of adversity and came together in the end,” Eubanks said. “I just wanted them to enjoy the moment, to see what’s it’s like so next year, when we’re back, we’ll have the desire and the heart and the want-to make it even further.
“They needed this experience to help us in future seasons.”