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September 07, 2021

NOW FOR THE REAL DEAL

in Volleyball

After snapping six-match losing streak, Class 2A Meridian Lady Jackets focus on District 11-2A play this week with playoff berth in mind

HAMILTON — By getting back on the winning track last week, the Meridian Lady Jacket volleyball team used its final two non-district dress rehearsals to get ready for the “real” season.

After opening District 11-2A competition on the road against Hamilton (9-12) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Lady Jackets (3-9) will visit the North Central Texas Academy in Granbury for a non-district matchup at 6 p.m. Friday before turning their full attention to district with their fourth consecutive road contest at Evant Sept. 14.

“We are thrilled to kickoff our district season,” Meridian volleyball’s first-year head coach Lauren Cartwright said. “Hamilton has a great program. Our focus will be to play our very best, working on our goals and staying focused on the fundamentals. The girls have already come a long way in preseason, and I look forward to seeing how we grow throughout our district schedule this season.”

Snapping a six-match losing streak, Meridian (3-9) rebounded after losing the first set to knock off Oglesby in four, 17-25, 25-12, 25-15, 25-20, last Tuesday at Meridian’s Yellowjacket Gymnasium.

“The win on Tuesday was not only an exciting match, but a foundational step in our programs growth,” Cartwright said. “We have been training to extend our mental and physical endurance. Volleyball is a game that requires intense focus and control. Over time, a young player’s ability to stay focused on each and every volley can become challenging. I am so proud of our girls for staying focused each and every volley throughout the game, and harnessing the power and skills they have gained through training.”

Senior Mackenzie Lane led the Lady Jackets with 10 kills and a block, followed by sophomore Eve Dirske with four and sophomore Canyon Stauffer with three.

Senior America Ramirez, junior Cortney Lunsford and Lane delivered three service aces apiece, while Stauffer led Meridian with 16 service receptions, followed by Lane with 10, sophomore Kaylee Kinard with eight and junior Meryl Roberson with seven.

“Tuesday’s win was the first time since we restarted the program last year where we have come back to win the match after losing the first set,” Cartwright said. “This shows tremendous growth and reveals just how much hard work our girls have been putting into this season. We are thrilled to get this win as we prepare for our district season.”

In their final tune-up before district begins, the Lady Jackets fell to the Bynum Lady Bulldogs last Friday.

“As a young team, we are working on consistency and mental endurance,” Cartwright said. “Our girls are working hard to become more consistent in their performance and learning to adapt to whatever circumstances they may be playing in. I am proud of how they desire to grow and put forth the effort to grow, not just as individuals but as a team.”

Photos by WENDY OROZCO

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