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Eagles declaw Purple Cats

The Goshen varsity volleyball team started its season off on the right foot in its home opener Tuesday evening.

While playing host to Ariton, the Eagles were able take three of four games from the Purple Cats, winning 16-25, 25-19, 25-15 and 25-23.

“I thought we played very well,” head coach Dee Hughes said about the first victory of the season.

“We knew we had a good group of girls (on the team) but they really stepped up and took charge.”

Leading the way for the Eagles was senior Niyoka Slater, who finished with 10 kills and eight aces.

Along with Slater, fellow senior, Keyona Taylor finished with seven aces.

Junior Alli Warrick finished with seven aces while sophomores Ivia Pollard and Mary Jordan finished with eights and six kills respectively.

“This was the fourth game for Ariton and it was only our first game, so for us to come back like that was just awesome,” Hughes said.

“You could tell we were a little rusty early on, but for us to come back like that just showed our ability to come together as a team. We were just able to gel.”

Besides a victory being added to the win column, the coach said she believes it may have sparked something more important.

“I think this win gave us a lot of confidence.

“We have been kind of rebuilding with new players for the past couple of seasons, so to start off the season like this was great,” Hughes said.

Even in with the win, the coach said there were a few places the team needed to improve.

“We still need to do a better job of rotating and communicating with one another.

“But I did like how hard we were hitting the ball (against Ariton). These girls really are dedicated to getting better – we may be small in numbers, but we are big in heart,” Hughes added.

Unlike the varsity team, the JV squad was unable to get a win in its first game, as the Purple Cats swept through the Eagles.

The Eagles will be back on the court on Monday when it play Pike County and Carroll, at PCHS.