MADISON – Perhaps Our Lady Academy should change the nickname of its volleyball team from Crescents to Jumping Jacks or Aces.
The players continually hit pinpoint serves and leaped above the net for kills and blocks in winning a third consecutive MHSAA Class I chamionship in dominating fashion against Senatobia, winning 25-3, 25-12, 25-9 on Saturday at Madison Central.
“I didn’t know how good Senatobia would be, but I knew how well our team has played all year,” said Mike Meyers, who has coached OLA to a state-best nine championships. “I knew our girls would play exceptionally well. We’ve played this well all year.”
The Lady Crescents were led by Brittany Corder, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi, with 15 kills and 22 service points, including 11 aces.
Although OLA does not have great size, the team had 50 kills in the match. Corder is 5-foot-10, Emma Funk, 5-9, had 10 kills, Abby Gollott, 5-6, had nine and Kayleigh Aicklen, 5-5, had seven.
“They’re not tall but they’re great high school volleyball players,” Meyers said.
The Lady Crescents finish 39-4, with only one in-state loss. They split two matches with Lake Cormorant. During the past three years, their record is 120-10. This year’s team swept all four playoff opponents.
It was the second consecutive year that Senatobia (33-5) lost to OLA in the final.
“We played the best we could,” Senatobia coach Cathy Hope said. “I’m proud of them.”
DeSoto Central jumped to a fast start in each set in defeating Hancock 29-27, 25-14, 25-21 for the Lady Jaguars’ second title. DeSoto had early leads of 6-1, 7-1 and 5-0.
Hancock scored eight straight points in the first set for an 18-15 lead, and had three set points before Liv Nault displayed a feathery touch at the net to give DeSoto the decisive points. Jordan Rayburn kept Hancock in the set with seven kills and seven service points.
The match ended with Nault blocking a shot by Rayburn.
For DeSoto, Allison Terrell had 14 kills, Sydney Slocum had 11 kills and four aces, Carmen Reed tallied 16 digs and Chelsea Lamping had 30 assists.
DeSoto finishes 36-8 and Hancock 30-11.
Lewisburg used a height advantage and the serving of Anna Goldman for the school’s third title with a 25-11, 25-10, 25-15 victory over East Central. Hannah Ferguson at 6-foot-1 and Desinty Gardner at 5-10 dominated the middle for the Lady Patriots.
Lewisburg jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening set, including eight service points and four aces by Goldman, who finished with 18 service points and five aces.
Lewisburg is 31-5 and East Central is 14-21.