Florala falls in home area sweep against Elba

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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Elba picked up a 3-0 area sweep at Florala in a varsity volleyball match on Thursday, Sept. 14.

The Lady Tigers moved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in 1A Area 1 play with a 25-17, 25-20, 25-23 win. The Lady Wildcats fell to 0-5 on the year and 0-3 against area competition.

“When we jump in and come out to have fun, we seem to do really well. The other team then seems to get ahead of us and causes us to shut down. Our nerves start coming out, and we do things we know we’re not supposed to do. I think it’s just jitters we’re dealing with and have a few holes in our rotation we need to fix and repair. We’re still working through it, but I know these girls are trying their best with good things coming for them,” said FHS Head Coach Anna Harrelson.

Gracie McNeil gave the Lady Wildcats an early 2-0 lead with an ace. A’lyric Whitfield had four straight aces as the Lady Tigers responded for a 5-2 lead. Kyndra Anthony evened the score at 5-5 with consecutive aces before the opposition built a 15-6 cushion. Anthony called her own number with a thunderous kill and sliced the gap to 16-10. Whitfield earned a kill for set point at 24-14, but the home side stayed alive with kills by Christina Sanders and Shae Lowery. The visitors’ early lead held for a 1-0 lead.

The second set opened similar to the first with a 2-0 lead. Whitfield had two kills and drew her side even at 3-3. Trailing 7-5, Skylar Murdock tied the score at 7-7 as Florala seized momentum and grabbed a 13-10 advantage. Whitfield capped a 5-0 swing with a kill for a 15-13 margin until McNeil forced another equalizer at 15-15. Kendra Juarez delivered a kill for set point at 24-19, and a strong finish boosted Elba to a 2-0 lead.

Following an early 1-1 tie, Florala roared to a 10-3 lead in the third set. Murdock had a pair of aces during the surge. Whitfield sliced the hole to 10-7 with a kill, but momentum shifted the other way after a 7-1 run. Sanders picked up an ace as two aces from Ella Caraway and a kill by Anthony put Elba behind 17-8. Whitfield continued her string of kills and ended a six-point rally at 17-14. The Lady Wildcats saw their lead slip to 21-19 on an ace by Mary B. O’Neal. Juarez gave the Lady Tigers a 23-22 lead before Whitfield completed the comeback with a kill for the sweep.

After facing McKenzie in non-area play Monday, Sept. 18, Florala welcomes Houston County for a home area matchup on Thursday, Sept. 28.