LAUREL HILL — Things are shaping up for Laurel Hill School’s volleyball team as it opens District 1-1A play at Central on Thursday.
The Hoboes are coming off a 2-2 showing in the Chipley tournament over the weekend. Monday they wrapped up a grueling stretch of nine matches in a little more than a week with a pair of wins over Rocky Bayou Christian and Florala, Ala.
Monday’s matches were a part of a three-team setup that had the Knights play the Wildcats and then the Hoboes. Laurel Hill and Florala finished the day’s play. The matches were the best two out of three rather than the normal three of five.
The Hoboes (8-4) beat Rocky Bayou 25-12, 25-17 and then finished off the day with a 25-16, 25-20 win over the Wildcats.
“We’ve played a total of about nine games in eight days so we’ve come together as a team and I like that,” Hobo coach Kent Zessin said. “The chemistry is really building up. We showed a little bit of that tonight, but we got sloppy at times.
“When we focused and played like we are supposed to play we did things right. We just lost our focus at times and we just have to do a better job and be more consistent throughout the whole entire game, but that will come.”
Lauren Gordon, Morgan Meeks and Ashley Hatfield paced the Hobo attack against Rocky Bayou.
Gordon led the team with five kills. Hatfield had six aces and a dig while Meeks dished out four assists to go along with two aces. Kaylee L’Homme added three kills.
At times, as Laurel Hill played Florala in the nightcap, it was obvious the Hoboes weren’t as focused as they could be.
Laurel Hill jumped to a quick lead in both sets, but let the outmanned Wildcats hang around longer than they probably should have.
Gordon was in serve as the Hoboes jumped in front 5-0 in the first set.
Laurel Hill led 5-1 when Hatfield got the serve and quickly scored on a pair of aces. Even while making mistakes the Hoboes were too strong and athletic for the Wildcats.
Gordon, L’Homme, Bridget Zessin and Jhanea Griffin controlled the net for the Hoboes as Laurel Hill maintained a five-point cushion throughout the set.
The first set ended with a kill by Griffin.
Laurel Hill took a quick 8-2 lead in the second set and held off a late Wildcat charge to take the win.
Following the wins on Monday, Kent Zessin quickly turned his attention to the district match at Central.
“We go to Central on Thursday for our first district match and I like where we are,” he said. “We are going to have a couple of hard days of practice and then go over there and hopefully do well.
“We like to get those (district) road games out of the way early and then play at home later in the season.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.