Improved TRM volleyball beats Thomasville
Erin Byrne burns foe with 14 points, six aces
By Bruce Hixon Sports Editor
Rome was not built in a day so why should the construction of the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers' volleyball program be any different.
Slowly but surely the bricks to the foundation are being laid. Another one was put in place Thursday when the Lady Tigers notched a 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-13 over the visiting Thomasville Lady Tigers.
"This was a nice win for us to get," said T.R. Miller coach Sharon Peacock. "We really struggled Tuesday (in a loss) against Opp so it was good to see us bounce back."
T.R. Miller also had some stretches of struggles against Thomasville, but the Lady Tigers used some clutch serving and key hits at the right time to boost their season record to 3-5.
"Our serving was really off early in the match, especially in the set we lost. We had five missed serves that set and under the new rally score format every serve counts," Peacock said. "Fortunately that part of our game got better as the match went along."
Junior middle hitter Erin Byrne was a big part of the serving surge. Byrne had 14 points in the match, but six of those went for aces.
"Erin really had a nice night at the serve. She was able to find some holes in their defense," Peacock said.
Byrne was not the only effective T.R. Miller server. In the first set win the Lady Tigers got eight points from both sophomore Terri Lynne Peacock and junior Courtney Krehbiel. Peacock got seven of her points in succession with points 15-21 that put T.R. Miller ahead for good. Krehbiel was able to close out the set victory with the final four points.
As previously mentioned, serving mistakes took their toll on T.R. Miller in the set two loss. However, the Lady Tigers still had some chances. They had as much as a 7-3 advantage in the early portion of the set thanks to a pair of aces from Byrne, a trio of points by Rachel Knowles and a pair of defensive points.
T.R. Miller still had a 13-12 lead and the score was deadlocked at 15-15 before a defensive point and four service points put Thomasville ahead to stay.
In set three T.R. Miller again got off to an early lead only to see the visitors charge back in the middle stages. The host Lady Tigers built a 6-3 edge with service points from Rebecaa Neal, Knowles, Bryne and Kristin Bradley. That lead later not only disappeared, but turned into a 19-17 deficit.
The momentum of the set changed when Peacock served four points to put T.R. Miller up 21-19. Peacock, who had a pair of aces in that string, also benefited from a tipped ball for a point by Neal.
A pair of defensive points and two service points by Byrne gave Miller the set victory and a 2-1 edge for the match.
Thomasville raced out to a 10-6 cushion in the fourth set before Byrne burned the visiting Lady Tigers at serve once again.
This time it was a string of seven points, two of which were aces, that put T.R. Miller ahead for good.
That lead stood 16-13 before a defensive point and eight service points by Knowles gave T.R. Miller the set and match victory.
Sophomore Shandreka Foster came off the bench and made a couple of key contributions late in the fourth and final set with a kill and tipped ball ball for points.
"We had quite a few hitting mistakes, but at least they were aggressive mistakes. Some of that was our hitters. Some of that was our passing. We had several people contribute at the net, but it's an area that still needs work," Peacock concluded.
T.R. Miller hosts Flomaton Tuesday at 4 p.m. Later in the week the Lady Tigers host Escambia County Thursday at 5 p.m.
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports editor A year ago the W.S. Neal Lady Eagles volleyball team won just one game... read more