The Mineral County High Lady Serpents seems to have finally hit its stride. Over the last week the Lady Serpents have picked up wins against Big Pine High and took two games off Excel Christian High in a double header on Sept. 20.
Last week’s wins brought the team’s record to 5-1.
On Sept. 17 the Lady Serpents faced off against the Big Pine Warriors for the second time this season. In a repeat of the teams’ first meeting, the Lady Serpents were victorious 3-1.
It won the first game 25-12; dropped the second 27-25; picked up the third 25-19 and easily took for fourth, 25-13.
Ada Williams lead the Lady Serpents with nine kills and an ace; Kelsey Viani-Wittwer had six kills and four aces; Alexa McFalls had three kills and an ace; and Danielle Wilson and Taylor Isom each added a kill to the Lady Serpents’ total. Wilson also had an ace.
“The girls are starting to come together well,” said Shelley Tweedy, Lady Serpents head coach. “They’re starting to actually slow the ball down, run the offense, they’re playing more aggressive. Their serves […] were a lot better.”
Gelling as a team and communication seem to be key issues for the Lady Serpents. Both Tweedy and McFalls mentioned that as an area where the team can improve.
“Today the game went well,” McFalls said. “We could have played better as a team, but it went well.
“We brought each other up when we were down and we kept on talking, and we were constantly moving on the court, and we covered on our shifts.”
By the time the Lady Serpents hosted Excel Christian on Sept. 20, it looked like an entirely different team than the one that took to the court earlier this month. Most of the team’s serves seemed to make it over the net, and several of them were difficult, if not impossible, to play on.
The girls were also talkative, calling out which region of the court an attack was coming to, and easily responding.
The Lady Serpents shutout the warriors in both sets; 2-0.
“The girls, they ran their offense, they played well, they served well,” Tweedy said. “We didn’t have very few free balls over the net, almost everything resulted in an aggressive offensive play.
One of the keys to the game was setting, Tweedy said. Tiera McFalls and Kailee Hawk both set “extremely well” she said.
“We talked, we had a lot of communication on the court,” Williams said. “We pulled together finally.”
Williams said practice and focus were the keys that allowed the team to come together.
And the practice, and communication, paid off.
“It’s huge,” Tweedy said. “Without communication you cannot run a volleyball court.”
Viani-Wittwer led the Lady Serpents with a total of three kills and an ace; Alexa McFalls had a kill and an ace; Williams had three kills; Isom had two kills; and Hawk had a kill.
The Lady Serpents have had trouble staying competitive throughout the games it played. In previous matches, the team has started to lose energy around the middle of the second game. But the energy was high against Excel.
“They’re starting to come together,” Tweedy said. “I think they’re picked up what it is about each individual player that the other person might have to pick up the slack a little bit.”