E.A. Sports Today

Loud and proud

Tuesday’s matches
Alexandria 3, Southside 1 (25-21, 11-25, 25-18, 25-17)
Alexandria 2, Springville 0 (25-20, 25-14)
Donoho 2, Weaver 1 (25-11, 18-25, 15-9)
Donoho 2, Sacred Heart 0 (25-16, 25-18)
Faith Christian 2, Cleburne County 0 (25-23, 25-21)
Faith Christian 2, Wellborn 0 (25-20, 25-18)
Oxford 2, Piedmont 0 (25-8, 26-24)
Oxford 2, Pleasant Valley 0 (27-25, 25-23)
Pleasant Valley 3, Piedmont 0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-11)
Weaver 2, Sacred Heart 1 (20-25, 25-23, 15-11)
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
WEAVER – Nobody likes being yelled at by the coach, especially when so many people in the stands can see, but when done and accepted in the right way it can be the best motivation.

The volleyball coaches at Donoho and Weaver both raised their voices during timeouts late in their matches Tuesday night, and it was just the kick in the pants their teams needed to carry on to victory.

Donoho’s Jamie Clendenin turned up the volume with his team locked in a tight third set with Weaver and the Lady Falcons responded to take down their hosts 2-1 (25-11, 18-25, 15-9).

Weaver’s Chelsea Watson Mize did the same in the second set with her team in danger of being swept by Sacred Heart and they rallied – twice – to beat the Lady Cardinals 2-1 (20-25, 25-23, 15-12).

Not surprisingly, both coached a few years together at Weaver.
“I try to keep my yelling to a minimum (but) I feel like when I do raise my voice like that they really turn things around,” Mize said. “Clendenin and I coached together for two years, volleyball and soccer, we’re very much alike. These girls have a background with Clendenin and they are very responsive to that type of animation and behavior, so I feel like they do respond to me when I have to raise my voice … to hype them up for the momentum and motivation.”
Donoho was leading 8-7 at the end of a three-point Weaver run when Clendenin called his fateful time out in the tiebreaker. The Lady Falcons (18-7) really hadn’t played that great against a team that was missing three starters and he needed to let them know in his inimitable way they could do better.
“Realistically, the only time I get mad and get as animated and loud as you heard me today is when they’ve been messing around a little too much and they’re not getting serious after the first time out,” Clendenin said. “That second timeout is when I usually lose my mind.
“When I get to that level they understand I mean business. It’s not that I don’t love them, it’s because I know what they’re capable of and they know when I’m getting to that point they know that I know they’re not giving their best. If we’re losing and I feel like it’s a hard-fought (match) I’m not getting anything. When I feel like we’re just giving it away that’s when I get that way.”
The Clendenin Effect didn’t kick in until Weaver tied the set at 9. The Lady Falcons retook the lead on a service error, then reeled off the next five points with Mya Keel serving to close out the tiebreaker. An ace started it off and freshman Mary Marshall Perry had two kills in the run, one off a block at the net to set up match point.
“When he does that, especially for me, it motivates me to prove him wrong,” Perry said. “It helps me get more focused in the game. I like when he yells at us. I feel like it makes us focus more and notice the things that we’re doing wrong.” 
The Lady Falcons followed up their third straight three-set victory with a straight-sets win over Sacred Heart for their ninth win in a row. Their longest winning streak a year ago was three. They are 10-4 against in-county teams this year, which should score some points in next week’s county tournament seeding meeting.
Mize got on her team when it trailed 22-20 in the second set, and her motivation didn’t kick until the Lady Bearcats faced double match point. With sophomore Marlee Wells serving, they tied it at 23, Kayleigh Hindsman’s block gave them the lead and they won the set to tie the match on the next ball.
“It told us that you either get out there and step up your game or we’re going to be running,” Wells said of the timeout’s effectiveness. “It gets in your head and it tells you to get out there and try your hardest and get on the floor and get every ball that you can.”
The Lady Bearcats (8-5) also trailed in the tiebreaker 11-6 – which prompted a calmer time out – and 12-8, but they scored the last seven points to win it. Wells tied the set with a ball coming off the net and she had the closing kill that clinched the match.
They did it missing three starters for various reasons. It prompted Mize to use Wells and sophomore Americus Conner as rotating setters, freshman Keelie Leach at libero, and Mya Allen and Hannah Hise in the middle for injured senior McKenna Flynn in the other spot.
Wells had seven kills, seven assists and seven digs in the Sacred Heart match. Leach had 15 digs, Haley Homesley had seven kills and 24 digs, and Nevaeh Hawkins had 13 digs. In the Donoho match, Homesley had nine kills and 16 digs, Conner had 13 digs, Leach had eight digs and Allen had seven kills.
“I think in the past Weaver has had a reputation of giving up easily and we’ve worked really hard on that,” Mize said. “I’ve been teaching them to have a fighter’s mentality to come back and for them to do that in two games – and I know we lost to Donoho – but in my eyes it’s a win in a way because of how far we’ve come as a team, and for my second string, really, to come in and get the job done.”
Oxford 2, Piedmont 0 (25-8, 26-24)
Oxford 2, Pleasant Valley 0 (27-25, 25-23)
Pleasant Valley 3, Piedmont 0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-11)
Oxford bounced back from its loss to Weaver the night before and scored some major county tournament seeding points when it opened up big against Piedmont and then won three tight sets to sweep the Lady Bulldogs and host Pleasant Valley, evening its record against county teams at 2-2.
Lakijah Brown led the Lady Jackets (10-6) with 10 kills and three digs. Shania Vincent had nine kills and seven digs. Ariana Curry had an ace and four digs. Javonti Moore had five aces and Cadie Burn had 31 assists.
Pleasant Valley’s Karmyn Sparks had 22 kills, a .319 hitting percentage and six blocks in the Lady Raiders’ two matches that included an area win over Piedmont. Leah Patterson had 11 kills and five of their 25 aces. Rylee Haynes had nine digs and dished 45 assists. Allie Bryant had 11 digs and six aces.
Alexandria 3, Southside 1 (25-21, 11-25, 25-18, 25-17)
Alexandria 2, Springville 0 (25-20, 25-14)
Jordan Beason had 12 kills and 13 digs and Lexi Weber had 11 kills, five blocks and four aces as the Lady Cubs (16-4) picked up their second area victory of the season against Southside.

Sarah Pelham had 13 digs and Anna Johnson 12 in the match. Kandyn Blankenship had eight kills and six digs. Johnson had 34 assists in the match and 54 on the night.
In the Springville match, Beason had 11 kills and nine digs, Weber had seven kills, and Pelham eight digs and four aces.
Faith Christian 2, Cleburne County 0 (25-23, 25-21)
Faith Christian 2, Wellborn 0 (25-20, 25-18)
HEFLIN – Sydnee Johnson continued her big season with nine kills, four aces and two blocks against Cleburne County and had five kills and five blocks against Wellborn.
In the Cleburne County match, Sarah Jessica Christjohn had three kills and two blocks, Lily Becke had 12 assists and Devan White had five digs. Against Wellborn, Christjohn had four kills, while Anna Kerri Davis and Lily Becke each delivered five assists.

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