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Lady Tigers sub-state bound

After claiming a win over Daleville last Saturday at the Class 3A, Area 3 regional volleyball tournament, the Straughn Lady Tigers (14-12, 5-0) will now travel up the road to take on powerhouse Montgomery Academy (28-6, 7-1 in Class 3A, Area 5) in a sub-state match.

Lady Tigers head coach Lori Kinsaul knows all too well what to expect today in their match.

“We expect tough competition,” Kinsaul said. “They’re known for volleyball and it’s going to be tough. We’ve been practicing this week and getting ready.”

Kinsaul added that the team has changed some things to get ready for sub-state.

“We’ve changed up our defense a little bit to offset some of the things I think they’ll be doing,” she said. “I expect them to play the net real fast and that’s where I’ve made my adjustments. We usually double block outside backside net, but we’re going to single block. The offside blocker will drop off and cover more of the court.

“Teams that tip and play the net really fast can dunk the ball in our open areas,” she said. “I’m hoping to take that away from them.”

The last time that Straughn played Montgomery Academy was last year during regionals.

“The last time we played them they showed us a lot of that,” Kinsaul said. “So, I’m trying to cover more of the floor with the girls. We’ve also been working on the basic stuff such as hitting, serving and fundamentals.”

As to the players’ mentality going into sub-state today, Kinsaul said she has wanted them to stay focused on winning.

“They’ve been great and have had a good attitude,” she said. “They’re going up there (today) to work for a win. I really wanted to preach to the girls not to have the attitude of just being happy to be there. I want them to really be focused on what they’re trying to accomplish and getting to state. I want them to have the mentality that we’re going to win.”

Straughn player Tiffany Taylor said in order for the team to be successful, they must play as a team.

“We need to talk to each other and play as a team and we need to get our passes and serves,” Taylor said. “Our hitting needs to be on point.”

Taylor remembers only too well their experience playing against Montgomery Academy last year.

“We were like, ‘Wow’,” she said. “They were really good we hadn’t seen anybody like that before. It was a good experience and I think it made us better. We’ve improved a lot since then.”

The match in Montgomery will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Montgomery Academy.