PLAS hosts volleyball playoff game today

Published 8:43 pm Monday, October 13, 2014

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots volleyball team will host the Glenwood Gators in a playoff game Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

Head volleyball coach Mendy Avant said it was great for the Patriots to not only be hosting a playoff match, but to also be playing in the match.

“It’s big because if we lose, we’re out,” Avant said. “At this point it’s one and done.”

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The team has made huge strides in the level of intensity and caliber of play from the beginning of the season to now, Avant said.

“I’ve been really pleased with them,” Avant said. “We’ve gone through some rough spots. We picked up some new girls. Some of who had never played together, but I think they’ve finally been able to come together.”

The Patriots have faced Glenwood two times in the regular season and lost both, but Avant said the team has used their experience with Glenwood to prepare for Tuesday’s game.

“It’s hard to beat a team three times, because you’re going to pick up on it,” Avant said.

The Patriots have worked hard on switching up their serving game, and Avant said the team had also worked on confusing opponents.

“We run three hitters and then a middle hitter in the back like a triangle,” Avant said. “They’re all faking. Everybody is going up. We’re trying to swap out the hits in all locations.”

Since the start of the season, Avant said her team has progressed in several different areas. She praised the team’s libero Sam Yarborough for her passing and hitting abilities and said while Yarborough does a great job at hitting, the team would more than likely need Yarborough as a passer while facing Glenwood.

“Passing has been incredible,” Avant said. “Sam has been a great passer, and she’s going to control the middle like she always has. She’s also a good hitter, so that’s where you have to kind of decide do I want to pull her or not. But I think we’re going to need her for passing more, and we’ll just pull her off of the net.”

The junior varsity Patriots volleyball team traveled to Birmingham for state competition over the weekend but their season was ended with loses to Morgan Academy and Coosa Christian High School.

“It was very disappointing,” Avant said. “We played Morgan our first game. We played three games and we were in the third match, which goes to 15. We had them 10-1, and we shut down.”

Avant also said several of the JV players traveled to Birmingham the day of competition, which could have played a role in the lack of focus during the game.

The playoff match between the Patriots and the Gators is set for 3:30 p.m.

Avant said the school would be watching the weather in case of a time change.