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Slow Seminole start

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JF, Minettes fall in openers; SR takes Fleming

By Mike Forster

Jefferson Forest welcomed E.C. Glass to the Seminole neighborhood, giving the Hilltoppers a swell housewarming gift.

Forest, looked upon by many as the favorite in the district, shifted the focus to Glass as the Hilltoppers prevailed 22-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-12, 15-6, on their home court.

“We played pretty poorly,” observed JF Head Coach Steve Mills.  “We let the crowd and atmosphere get into our heads and it caused us to play passively.  We didn’t serve or attack very well.  Our passing was pretty weak, as well.”

Geez, coach, stop sugar-coating it!

Erin McIntyre had 27 assists in her semi-homecoming.  McIntyre was at Glass until transferring to JF at the start of last year.

Jordan Hawkins had an impressive 18 kills, but that total was matched equally by Hilltopper Meg Kinney, who also had 11 digs.

Forest was paced in the digs department by Megan Prothero, who had 16.

Also for Glass, Taylor Riley dished 34 assists, Kim Amerell had 9 kills and Page Riley added 10 digs.

There is certainly an upside to this one:  Glass has thrown down the gauntlet.  

The crowd, full of royal-blue painted partisans, was big, boisterous and intimidating.  Undoubtedly, the student body at Jeff Forest should be alarmed at the E.C. Glass showing.

Therefore, the stage should be set for a real uptick in the interest and enthusiasm around this sport.  The rematch at JF, on Oct. 6, should be a doozy. 

Despite starting out Seminole play at 0-1, Mills seemed calm.  “It’s okay; just a bump in the road,” he said.  “We feel confident...about the future.”

Liberty still winless

The bad news is that the Minettes moved to 0-5 overall (0-1, Seminole) with a pair of losses to Pulaski and Amherst.

The good news is that the team got its first game win of the season, in the 3-1 loss to Pulaski.

The Minettes actually were in position to beat the Lancerettes, holding a 2-0 edge before watching Amherst work its way back for the win:  24-26, 20-25, 25-16, 25-19, 21-19.

That Amherst is considered one of the lesser teams in the Seminole doesn’t bode well for the Minettes.

Liberty was paced by Ashlynn Buttram and Lexie Kiely, who teamed up for 11 kills.  Hannah Martin and Callie Glover paired up for 31 digs, while Martin and Kasey Bond joined for 28 assists.  Stacy Campbell chipped in three blocks.

Staunton River, meanwhile, played a snoozer of a match with an outmatched squad from William Fleming.

The Lady Eagles went out to a 2-0 lead before letting the third game slip away.  That third one was lost as numerous kill opportunities skipped out of bounds.

The Riverites regrouped to take the fourth, and final, game.

Game scores were:  25-14, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15.

Staunton River (4-2) won’t have many more like this:  One where they have an obvious advantage over an opponent and can afford to be cute.

Nevertheless, there were some serious stats posted by the Lady Eagles.  Specifically, Jordan Merrill had a big night, pegging eight kills.  She also went 27-for-27 in the service department and currently owns a streak of 79 consecutive good serves.

Fellow captain Chelsea Eary added 9 kills and an ace.  Allie Shrewsbury bopped 11 kills and added a pair of aces.  

Diminutive Sarah Woodford had 25 kills and even joined in the kills party, nabbing a couple at the net.

Up next

On Tuesday, Sept. 15 (after press time), JF played at Cave Spring, Liberty hosted Brookville and Staunton River hosted James River.

On Thursday, Forest hosts Rustburg and Liberty heads to Glass.

SR heads to the Heritage tournament on Saturday.