Photo: New Northeast Mississippi Community College volleyball coach Brenda Mayes. (Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
The opening match for the Northeast Mississippi Community College volleyball program did not go quite as planned.
The Lady Tigers dropped their highly anticipated debut to Bevill State (Ala.) Community College in straight sets on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at the Fayette campus gymnasium.
“I think for the first time ever we did ok,” said Northeast head coach Brenda Mayes. “I was not pleased with the little bitty minor mistakes that we shouldn’t have had. The girls played well in spurts.”
Northeast and the Lady Bears exchanged the initial six points of the contest. Madeline Ledbetter and Kami Wilf recorded the first kill and assist in program history, respectively, on the very first play of the game.
Giselle Lopez posted the first two digs for the Lady Tigers from her libero position one point later. However, Bevill State (1-4) accounted for 20 of the next 30 points to claim the first set.
Northeast rebounded nicely and held a lead late into each of the last two periods. The Lady Tigers held an 8-4 advantage in the second set following back-to-back kills by Irby Norris and Avery Thomas.
The Lady Tigers kept that four-point lead at 11-7 after Paris Morris tipped a ball onto the Lady Bears’ side of the court. Bevill State used an 18-6 run from that instance to secure a 25-17 decision and take a 2-0 overall lead.
The third stanza nearly went in favor of Northeast. The Lady Tigers (0-1) accounted for five unanswered points, including consecutive kills from Norris and Wilf, to jump ahead 12-10 midway through the set.
Norris had Northeast’s first ace in the third on a serve that hit the top of the net and landed cleanly on the opposite side. The Lady Tigers eventually saved match point four times before falling in heartbreaking fashion 28-26 to the Lady Bears.
The Lady Tigers return to action on Friday, Aug. 25 with a trip to Lawson State (Ala.) Community College. Northeast’s inaugural home contest is on Monday, Aug. 28 against Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University’s junior varsity club.