Several trivia questions were answered in The Jungle on Tuesday night.
Who was the first player to offer up a serve in an official MHSAA volleyball match in Jones County?
A’Mya Stevens of Northeast Jones.
Which two Jones County schools were the first to play one another in a volleyball match?
Northeast Jones and South Jones.
Which school from Jones County became the first to win a volleyball match?
The Northeast Jones Lady Tigers.
Who were the biggest winners in Jones County’s first volleyball match?
Everyone who was in The Jungle on Tuesday night.
The Lady Tigers knocked off county-rival South Jones in straight sets (25-16, 25-16 and 25-13) to win the first volleyball match in Jones County in front of what school officials estimated to be a crowd of around 400 folks in The Jungle.
“It’s incredibly humbling to be a part of and it’s an honor to finally be able to bring the sport into Jones County,” said South Jones head coach Crystal Giles. “We’ve been fighting a long time to bring it here and I really don’t think that either team was on the losing side tonight, and, really, no Jones County team will be on the losing side this season, because we are all making history.”
In the first set, Northeast Jones’ Kinsey Chisolm was solid in her two times on the serving line as she converted 10-of-11 serves for points for the Lady Tigers.
In the second set, after building a 10-6 lead, the Lady Braves watched as the Lady Tigers put together a rally and never looked back in winning the set.
In the third set, the Lady Braves appeared a little gassed and the Lady Tigers were able to capitalize to finish off the set and take the match.
South Jones’ Grace Stringer was a standout in the match and the athleticism displayed by the Lady Tigers was led by Delaine McMillian. The hustle award for the night goes to South Jones’ Baylee Boyette who spent nearly as much time on the floor trying to get to loose balls as she did on her feet.
“It was very exciting tonight and I am very proud of these girls,” said Northeast Jones head coach Nancy Brashier. “With such a short period of time, they managed to pull together. We are all trying to learn a new sport, how to play it, the rules of it. We have had great officials who have come in and tried to help us with that, too, but I am just really proud of the girls.“
All three of the Jones County schools are competing in volleyball this season and the Jones County School District invested approximately $10,000 per school in the sport said Superintendent Tommy Parker, who was in attendance for the first match played in the Free State.
With volleyball joining soccer, basketball and fast-pitch softball, there are now four opportunities for girls at the three Jones County high schools to earn scholarships in team sports at the next level.
“I think it is awesome and we have been needing this (volleyball) for awhile,” said Brashier. “When slow-pitch went out and fast-pitch took over, I felt like we needed another sport that would offer them another opportunity to play at the next level. It’s a great thing that is happening and I am glad it did and happy to be a part of it.”
Northeast Jones is scheduled to be back at home tonight (Thursday) as it takes on Wayne County in The Jungle at 6:30 p.m.
South Jones will host its first match on the Reservation tonight when the Lady Braves take on Greene County at 6:30.
West Jones falls
The West Jones Lady Mustangs traveled to Meridian to face the Class 6A Lady Wildcats in their inaugural volleyball match.
The Lady Wildcats swept the Lady Mustangs in straight sets (25-7, 25-17, 25-18)
“They (Meridian) had a couple of 6-footers and they served the ball real well,” said West Jones head coach Craig Winship. “But we settled down after the first set and got better with each set.”
The Lady Mustangs are set to play their first home match today at 6 p.m. against first-year school Jefferson Davis County, which was formed by the consolidation of Bassfield High School and Prentiss High School.