Trojans fall in area: Trojans experience a lot of growth in 2015, excited for next season

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Charles Henderson Trojan volleyball team wrapped up its 2015 season Tuesday with a loss in straight sets to Eufaula in the area tournament in Rehobeth.

The Trojans played perhaps their most consistent match of the season according to head coach Jennifer Sikes, but in the end the Tigers defeated the Trojans 20-25, 22-25, 21-25.

“If we would have played all year like we played today, we would have been ready and we would have beaten those teams today,” Sikes said. “We had a really good practice yesterday and a really good practice this morning. The players were up and they had not played like that all year long.”

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The Trojans fell behind early in the first set by a scored of 20-12 before they were able to rattle off eight straight points. Ashla Elder who served all eight points for the Trojans.

From there the Trojans lost the next point and the Tigers were able to score the sets final five points to give them a 1-0 advantage.

Even following the season ending loss, Sikes was pleased to see the players saved their best performance for their final match of the year.

“It made me feel really good that we could come out and show up when it truly counted,” Sikes said.

One of the biggest keys for the Trojans heading into area play was consistency, something they found on Tuesday.

“Today was the first match all season long that we have been consistent,” Sikes said. “That was the big key heading in. It showed a lot of heart to be down by eight points and rally.”

Sikes contributed to the more consistent play by her Trojans to new strategies and believes it will carry over into next year. Sikes met with each player over the last week and listened to their ideas and questions.

“I learned as much as the girls did,” Sikes said. “I got into their heads a little bit and made them think. I think that was a big part of it. They did open up and they realized that all us coaches wanted from them was their best. It showed on the court today, unfortunately we came up a bit short.”

The loss to Eufaula brought an end to six seniors’ volleyball careers at CHHS: Elder, Cassidy Oswald, Latricia Shipmon, Natalia Spivey, Selenthia McGuire and Elizabeth Watson.

“I hate it for my six seniors,” Sikes said. “Today was their final match.”

Even with the loss there are bright things on the horizon for the Trojans. Sikes played a lot of her underclassman and she is excited to see what will come starting with next season.

“We never had more than two seniors on the court at a time,” Sikes said. “The future looks bright for us. If we could realize that when they are asked to do something they can execute what we want them to do.”

The Trojans didn’t finish where they would have liked this season but the underclassmen took major strides this season.

“The underclassman did what they were asked to do and they corrected many mistakes. They worked very hard to earn their positions.”

There were a lot of things that Sikes expected coming into the 2015 season. One thing that wasa pleasant surprise, was how well her players were able to gel with one another as the season prgoressed.

“They didn’t have any conflict on the court,” Sikes said. “That really helped them to get closer to one another and bond as a team.”