Lady Jackets continue home volleyball dominance

There's truly no place like home for the Starkville High volleyball team.
With the Lady Yellowjackets battling Meridian on Tuesday at the Beehive, SHS improved to a perfect 3-0 at home, notching a win over the Lady Wildcats in straight sets.
Starkville (5-3) took the first two sets 25-10, before clinching the win with a 25-12 victory in the third set.
The Lady Jackets' other home wins, also claimed in straight sets, came over Corinth and West Lowndes.
"We've been fortunate to come out and get these three wins," said Starkville head coach Lauren Love.
On Tuesday, Starkville gathered momentum early. In the first set, with a 2-2 score, the Lady Jackets reeled off an 8-0 run for a 10-2 lead. Later, SHS stretched the margin to 17-5 en route to claiming the opening set.
The second set provided more Lady Jacket dominance.
After quickly falling behind 1-0, Starkville bounced back with a 7-0 run. Starkville and Meridian split the next 18 points to make it 16-10 in favor of the Lady Jackets, but SHS pulled away with a 9-0 run to close the set.
Meridian put up an early fight in the third set, but several late Lady Jacket runs ended the Lady Wildcats' hopes.
Wheeler Richardson notched 11 assists and seven aces for Starkville, while Elizabeth Scott tallied seven aces and four digs. McKay Richardson had six kills and three aces in the winning effort.
While displaying another impressive performance, Love says her team is gaining plenty of confidence, but perhaps more importantly, the Lady Jackets are staying hungry for even more improvement.
"Fortunately, they're keeping their focus and intensity in practice," said Love. "We don't want to be overconfident, so it's nice to see that they're working hard and seeing results."
Unlike some sports where teams can rely heavily on one or two stars to get wins, Love says the positive outcomes for Starkville volleyball so far this season are coming thanks to contributions from her entire squad.
"The team has really come together," said Love. "That's what we needed. In volleyball, it's not always the standout players, because it's the ultimate team sport. You really have to gel together."
Love's team will try to keep the momentum going this Saturday when they travel to Clinton to take on both Provine and Clinton. The action will begin at 1 p.m.
It will be Starkville's first time to face Provine, but the Lady Jackets are familiar with Clinton after being beaten out of last year's Class 6A playoffs by the Lady Arrows.
Love says her team will remember that costly loss when they take the court on Saturday, but SHS will treat the contest much like they do every game.
"It's a new season and a new year," said Love. "We always play hard and try for a win."