E.A. Sports Today

Sacred Heart back on track

Lady Cardinals win Wellborn Slamfest, undefeated since coach’s attention-getter

By East Alabama Sports Today

A week ago, Sacred Heart volleyball coach Robin Coplin wasn’t very happy with her team. She left the players outside the gym after their ouster from Donoho’s tournament to consider the direction they wanted to take for the rest of the season.

Basically the message was call me when you want to practice.

The Lady Cardinals got the message. They practiced on their own the following Monday and have won six straight matches since. On Saturday, they won Wellborn’s Slamfest without losing a set in five matches.

They beat Ohatchee twice, including in the championship match 25-21, 25-22. Interestingly, they play Ohatchee in their Calhoun County Tournament opener Oct. 4.

“They’re playing to their level of capability,” Coplin said. “It’s been (a) huge (change).”

The Lady Cardinals (23-10) beat Ranburne (25-16, 25-16), Cleburne County (25-10, 25-10) and Ohatchee (25-15, 25-22) in pool play and Glencoe in the semifinals (25-18, 25-23).

Zainab Sanusi had 38 kills and 14 aces in the five matches. Olivia Simmons had 25 blocks. Setter Anna Kerper had 68 assists, 11 kills, four aces and 15 digs. Kristen Rothwell had 22 kills and 12 aces.

“The girls know when I’m hard and when I’m upset with them,” Coplin said. “They know I don’t stay mad long and they know there’s a point to my methods.

“I’ve noticed since then when I ask them to do something specific they do everything they can to accomplish that and that’s what I’ve been trying to get them to do. They were situations (Saturday) they could’ve folded several times and that told me a lot when they chose not to. I think they’re starting to really realize their potential. I think it’s really clicking with them.”

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